Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hordes of the Things - Dwarf Army (Part One)

If there's one set of miniatures wargame rules I love for their flexibility it has to be Hordes of the ThingsWargames Research Group simplified and enhanced their De Bellis Antiquitatis rules for Ancient (and Medieval) wargaming rules so that they might be used for fantasy gaming.  The ability to use any and all minis to build an army that can do battle with even vastly different armies makes this ruleset one of my favorites.

I'm nearing the completion on the construction of a Dwarf army for a current local campaign.  I shoulda, woulda, coulda (No Excuses!) had it completed but for some pressing thesis work.  I'll try to get some good pictures of the elements of this army and show them off, highlighting the variety.  Among the elements in the ranks are Axe Wielders (Blades), Crossbows (Shooters), Boar Riders (Knights or Riders), a Frost Giant (Hero) and a Pony-Mounted Dwarf (Hero), Bears and Handlers (Beasts), a Dwarf Spellcaster (Cleric), Bat Swarms (Flyers), Two Dwarves among Cargo (Lurker), a Giant Cyclops (Behemoth), a Gargantuan Dwarf on Clouds (God), and a Gold Dragon (Dragon),.  Part of the fun in the construction of such an army is the creativity that goes into making the bases new and interesting.  Sometimes just arranging the individual figures on the prescribed base sizes can be a challenge but it goes beyond that when a figure or figures come with attached bases that would make the base terrain appear odd or lumpy, or when the attached bases are bigger than the prescribed base size, or when the figure simply doesn't fill out enough of the base to make it appealing.  The camps and strongholds can get particularly fun to construct.

For a first look, here are some simple Bat Swarms from Games Workshop painted to fit the blue color theme much of my army sports, arranged in rock formations to appear as if they are emerging from a cave mouth.  I used Vallejo Paints and Reaper paints, some rocks from a craft store like Michaels, along with some Grey Pumice also from Acrylicos Vallejo, and they are mounted on George Bases from RGD Products (sold locally at Games Plus and at some conventions) in 60mm x 40mm size (standard Flyer base for 25mm to 28mm figure scale).  If you aren't local, I would suggest checking out the GF9 Econo Bases from Gale Force Nine which can be had in quantity for low cost.  I have yet to seal these elements (I'm a fan of a Matte Finish) because I might still hit the bats with a bit of wash, though I don't want them to be much darker.  The finish might do enough along those lines.  Plus, I want to go over the red eyes a time or two more, perhaps even switching to orange from red, since that might obviously contrast a bit better with the blue tones.  We'll see!

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Kamloopian's Website & YouTube Channel

As I was looking around for some tips on hot wire foam cutting and shaping I ran across the site of The Kamloopian.  His actual name is Steve Delaney and he is a mixed media artist among many other things.  What caught my immediate interest were his videos on terrain building which can be accessed from his main site through the video link.  That takes you to his YouTube Channel which houses 350+ tutorials on many different aspects of terrain building from simple hills to architectural structures.  He works in many different scales and it is all very applicable to gaming or model railroading hobbies.  He's got an easygoing style and although, as he readily admits, the naming of his videos could be a bit more consistent, using the search feature in the uploads section in the grid view (linked above) should help a viewer glean whatever they need from his stockpile.  He tries very hard to be quite complete with close ups when possible and has additional pictures on the main website for better views when necessary.  Check him out when you have the time and definitely bookmark this treasure of a website.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


ePawn?  Okay, I'm listening and liking.  Well, here is the affordable gaming tabletop that I have long wished to see be made avalable.  The question for me will be how easily can it be programmed and can individual encounter files can be produced and included with adventures and settings?

According to . . .

ePawn Arena
- Available early 2012 for approximately $400
The ePawn Arena is one of the more curious devices at E3 2011. The Arena is a 23-inch touchscreen that responds to pieces (like chess pieces or miniatures) with electronics embedded on the underside. Each piece can be treated as a different unit, in the event you’re playing chess or a tabletop game, it will be able to differentiate a plane from a tank, and a king from a queen.
Games programmed for it will be able to tell which direction unit are pointing and even how far apart they are. If we take a tabletop war game as an example, a well programmed game will be able to determine whether a unit is in range to fire, and whether rendered obstacles are in the way. It can also generate graphical effects like smoke or blood if a unit is hit.
ePawn will likely come with embeddable electronic pieces, so you can use your own existing pieces, in the event you have your own well-painted miniatures