Monday, 2 January 2017

Hello 2017!

Hi!

Well 2017 has arrived and I've set myself a bit of a challenge to get the year going.

I've always been fascinated by British mythology and as mentioned in my last post, I've been hankering after some 28mm gubbins for a while so figured I'd set the challenge around that, hence the change of blog title to Tales From Lost Albion!


Magic has returned to the British Isles with a vengeance. The Fae have reclaimed their ancestral lands and the once civilised country has reverted to a mysterious land of forests, mist and magic.


Humanity, once the undisputed rulers of the world have been thrust back into the dark ages, their great cities reduced to rubble and their population decimated. But all is not lost, as magic returned to the land, humans have adapted and now small communities thrive amongst the brooding wilderness.

So I've settled on another post apocalyptic setting. Yes, I know I tend to get a bit obsessed but I like the idea!

Next I need to settle on the rules I am giving myself for the project.

First I have allowed myself £15 a month budget for the project which should keep my painting queue manageable. I've also settled on using 28mm scale figures and a somewhat bodged version of Song of Blades for rules which is going to keep things relatively simple.

The plan is to build a warband in January and another in February as well as create some scenic terrain for them to fight over and spend March playing a campaign and possibly adding another warband or random characters.

I also plan on posting up some assorted background articles to give the project flavour as well as some ideas for later on in the year but don't want to get ahead of myself and get bored of the project before I get chance to finish it.

In other news, I have also managed to finish another model for my Aeroth project in the form of a Dwarven Boar Company Outrider:

 Outrider

Further info can be found HERE on my Aeroth project (which seems to be slowly coming together in my head and on paper but still needs lots more work before it's ready!)

In the meantime, I hope you all have a lovely start to 2017 and All the Best!

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

2016: A Year in Review

Hi!

Well the end of the year is drawing closer and I'm run off my feet with work as the silly season hits so hobby time is effectively over for the year.

Looking back, I've had some amazing times as I got married and work has been getting better, if busier but I must admit that this year has been a bit of a frustrating one hobby wise as I have found myself totally stalled with every project I've started.

This seems to be a recurring problem, especially when I look back at my last few years posts and is something I really need to address in the new year.

On the plus side, I seem to be really enjoying sculpting my own rather stylised miniatures and have a sneaking suspicion that this will be taking a greater part, if not all of my hobby time next year.

I've flirted with 6mm, 10mm, 15mm and 28mm over the course of the year and still find myself unhappy with anything I do so I am going to be setting myself some challenges for 2017 which I hope to be able to stick to and to actually get some enjoyment out of playing around with toy soldiers...

6mm

I've slowly built up some small warbands of a decidedly 40k nature and suspect that the new year may see one or two additions to my small warbands.


28mm

I've painted a couple of 28mm scale gubbins over the course of the year and am sorely tempted to paint more but I would need to go on a bit of a buying spree to get some interesting stuff but I'm more than aware that I will buy stuff and not paint it...



Niche

I've painted up a few of Zombiesmith's True Atronians for Shieldbash (which is a brilliant little game by the by) and hope to finish the warband in the new year before starting on an opposing force to duke it out with:


15mm

I actually sold off most of my 15mm collection this year to make space for new projects but am slowly painting through the stuff I have left over. I had originally intended to flesh out the warbands into full scale forces to play out some skirmishes of a decidedly Rogue Trader sort of vibe but the more I paint, the more I realise that there is another scale I am more happy with.


My Own Scale

Lastly, there's my SD sculpts which I have slowly been amassing and painting over the course of the last 12-18 months and I really enjoy working on them and it is this sort of scale that I foresee much of 2017 being full of!

Hopefully 2017 will be a more satisfying year than 2016 hobbywise and thankyou to the brave readers who've put up with my rambling and hopefully I will be posting some more regular output too!

All the best!

Saturday, 26 November 2016

A Return to the Farpoint Sector

Hi!

Well it's been quite some time since I've had chance to do much of anything hobby related, mostly because of real life tedium like work which has sadly intruded more than I'd like to admit over the last three months.

Still, I figured I'd best get back to work on some hobby related gubbins soon to try and get my mojo back and with that in mind, I thought I'd crack on and see if I can summon up a bit of enthusiasm for my alternative Imperium setting.


Looking at my previous ramblings, I possibly went a bit scattergun in my approach to Farpoint, trying to paint up stuff in 6mm, 15mm and 28mm scale and giving myself almost endless factions to try and flesh out and paint.

I've got the vague idea of putting together a rather cramped and jumbled frontier city teeming with lowlifes and ne'er do wells and random xenos races. Farpoint is a melting pot as dozens of races and cultures from both sides of the border coming to trade, strike dodgy deals and all manner of shady goings on.


Whilst Farpoint is the administrative centre of the sector, it's previous Governor was renowned for his corruption and it's up to his replacement to bring back law and order to the wild frontier!


With that in mind, I want to take the time to actually build a few small skirmish forces and starting with the Governor General's personal retinue. The man himself will need representing along with his security team and assorted hangers on. I've already got some bits and pieces put aside and will be doing a little bit of converting before getting bits and bobs painted up.


I also want to put together some suitably grotty buildings to represent some of the mean streets for my forces to battle over so I will be rummaging out some boxy shapes to work on. Hopefully my burst of creativity will keep me entertained into the new year so watch this space!

All the best!

Friday, 16 September 2016

Horned Folk Army Project Part 2

Hi!

I've managed to finish off a second Wartower for my Horned Folk army!

 Horned Folk Wartowers

I've still got one more to finish to get the formation up to strength but I am already thinking about adding some more firepower to my force as the Aeroth setting I am developing is going to be a bit more science-fantasy so my decidedly low tech Horned Folk are in need of some more arcane tech to beef them up a bit!

Warband on the move.

It's rather nice to have finished a paintjob that I started 18 months ago and the force does seem to be slowly coming together! As with the other Wartower, the basis for the wooly rhino is a Irregular Miniatures 15mm scale rhinoceros with a howdah, crew and armour sculpted on. I also extended the horns and built up the bulk of the beast as well.

I'm going to get some more infantry added for my next update and hopefully a somewhat bigger beast too but in the meantime, All the best!

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Horned Folk Army Project Part 1

Hi!

Well I've survived my first week back at work and have been pondering on finishing off a project I started some time ago in the form of my Horned Folk army...

Looking back, it's been about 18 months since I touched the project and I have some fun ideas that I want to try out on my 6mm fantasy gubbins so I figured it was high time to have a bash at building up my forces a bit!

 Horned Folk Warband thus far

The backstory of the Horned Folk is that they were one of the first races to inhabit Aeroth but were all but destroyed by the Elves during the Age of Legends and the survivors retreated into their great barrows to sleep away the ages before being re-awoken by The Death.

Now having spent quite a while scribbling notes about the setting of Aeroth, I do want to move the tech level forward a bit so it's not quite so dark ages and more science fantasy so most forces will feature magical or mechanical constructs to do battle and the Horned Folk are currently looking a bit under equipped.
 Horned Folk Warrior regiment

Inkeeping with their Minotaur styling, I am going to post up a background article on them to flesh them out a bit and make them fit in with the setting a bit more but at present, I want to concentrate on rounding out the force a little and looking at what I have, I will finally try and finish off my two remaining small wartowers as well as another four stands of Beastkin which will give me a good basis for a force.

 Beastkin Regiment

The next step will be to flesh out the force a bit with some arcane tech, larger wartowers and some more high status infantry. I am going to try and sculpt much of the warbeasts myself as I have a pretty specific look that I am trying to achieve but one of the joys of 6mm scale gaming is that you can field truly massive monsters and I look forward to creating some really big beasts to march to war alongside hordes of infantry and cavalry!

 Small Wartower

Games will still be played on a small board, no larger than 3'x3' or possibly 3'x4' and rules wise, I am actually pondering reworking Epic 40k as it's such a slick little system that I think will work well with the sort of game I want to play. I doubt I will be fielding massed formations but it will provide enough space for a decent amount of maneuver before the armies clash!

 Cyclops

Another good thing about the project is that it can be completed on a modest budget as post wedding, the hobby budget is pretty puny. It will also be rather refreshing to actually finish a project for a change as I only need to paint about six bases to complete everything I have!

Fallen Renegade

I will be rummaging around my 6mm stuff to provide enough figures to bump my Beastkin regiment up to 8 bases as well as painting up the last two wartowers but will also be trying to sculpt something a bit bigger which will act as a nice centrepiece to the force so watch this space!

All the best!

Sunday, 4 September 2016

A Guide to Forgotten Games Part 3

Hi!

Well I'm back from my hols and down to my last day off and thought I'd post another guide to some of the fantastic but largely forgotten games in my collection!

Celtos


Celtos was a fantasy ruleset released by i-Kore not too long before it imploded and featured a world based around Celtic mythology and Slaine the graphic novel with the Gaels defending their island home from the villainous Formorians and Fir Bolg whilst Vanir raiders and the mysterious Sidhe also featured.

I actually helped demo this game back in my Borders days and it was really good fun with a great combat system based on Void 1.1's mechanics but with a really brutal and fitting mod or two which made for some really entertaining games.

Sadly the game was just gathering strength when i-Kore expired messily but the good news is that Brigade Models have the rights to produce the game and is slowly working on updating it to a new edition and by the sounds of things, are finally getting there with it and I'd love to see it getting more attention!

The forces were rather good looking and really possessed that Slaine vibe, especially as the concept artist for the range was Clint Langley, the same chap who worked on Slaine for 2000AD!

Hopefully we will see a new edition of the game in the not too distant future but in the meantime, the miniatures and original rulebooks are still available from BRIGADE MODELS (who also sometimes run really good deals on the range!) so do head over and take a peek!


Leviathan



Ah Leviathan! I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Leviathan as I adore the setting and the forces but the miniatures range is pretty rubbish and the rules themselves need a lot of work.

This isn't to say it's no good, the rulebook is available as a free download from Scotia Grendel and well worth a peruse, if for no other reason than for the setting which is delightfully post apocalyptic with the Elves essentially causing armageddon by breaking ancient magical seals which unleashed the Fallen and the ensuing chaos warps and changes the world beyond recognition.

This was one of the first games I picked up post GW and over the years have tried repeatedly to get the game revamped and given some of the recognition that it deserved but each time I tried, I ended up either burning out or giving up from frustration and it almost made me leave the hobby entirely on more than one occasion.

Having now played the game repeatedly, I am struck by how it could be great but is let down by the lack of playtesting and proofreading that went into it. There's a nugget of gold in there and I think with a bit of hard work, it could become one of the great games but it has a lot of problems too.

in 28mm scale, the setting would make for a great skirmish game, ala Chronopia or even Mordheim but they went for mass battle which involves massive warbeasts which take an age to paint and a vast table space to game in.

In 15mm scale, it would be ideal and I've even put a bit of work into putting together a force for it in that scale but once again, a mixture of work and hobby exhaustion has really put the brakes on the project.

Hopefully with my spring clean of the blog will see me re-explore Leviathan and the world of Aeroth but I find myself using the original as a stepping off point as I want to push the setting further and make the game a bit more compelling.

I find that with a lot of the games I have mentioned in my blogging there seems to be a kernel of what I want in the ideal game, be it rules, setting or aesthetics but none of them really have just what I want from a game.

That's not the point of this article though as I find perusing all these forgotten gems worth while as they inspire me to form my own setting or lift elements from them to enhance other rulesets.

I have my suspicions that I will be exploring the world of Aeroth at great length in the coming weeks and months too as I have put so much work into it, its almost taken on a life of its own and I am exploring the possibilities of pushing the setting forward a bit more...

Freebooter's Fate


Freebooter's Fate is a skirmish ruleset produced in support of a miniatures range sculpted by Werner Kloke and I picked up the ruleset and expansions a couple of years ago but am yet to actually play it but do feel it has some real potential for small skirmishes in a fantasy pirate themed world.

Having perused the rules themselves, I'm rather struck by the unique combat system as well as the luscious artwork and miniatures themselves featured throughout the game. I must admit that from time to time I do want to play around with a pirate themed sort of game and at some point, I do want to For some reason, Freebooter's Fate doesn't seem to have much of a web presence in the blogosphere and I can't quite figure out why as it looks cracking and the miniatures themselves are readily available in the UK online.

I'm currently swithering about picking up a couple of crews and having a go at gaming it but haven't really got the budget to try out a new game system at the moment but may treat myself for my birthday...

Either which way, do have a look at some of the demo boards the game has been played on as they look fantastic! I'd also recommend taking a peruse of the quickstart rules which are freely available from FREEBOOTER MINIATURES as they are rather funky and well worth a read.

Well I've blethered on a bit about games and whatnot, I figure I should probably use a bit of my last day off to actually do some painting!

Hopefully you've found some interesting stuff to have a read of games wise with my small selection and next update, I hope to actually show some painted miniatures and stuff! 

All the best!

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

A Guide to Forgotten Games Part 2

Hi!

Following on from my previous post, I thought I'd post some more of the forgotten games from my collection that in days gone by I really enjoyed but are now largely forgotten.

Star Mogul


Star Mogul was originally produced by Alpha Forge Games in the US and it grabbed my attention with the quirky miniatures that were produced to go along with it. The game itself is set in our future when humanity has colonised a fair chunk of space but an ancient alien pathogen has wiped much of the frontier worlds out. Over a century later, salvage crews have begun exploring these lost worlds and fighting each other to gather the riches they find.

One of the things I really liked about Star Mogul was the fact that it wasn't super soldiers fighting gribbly aliens but working joes eking out a living on the frontier in a new gold rush amongst the stars.

That's not to say there weren't any aliens in the game. The supplements brought in the Hydrassians, Asteroid Miners, Android Cults and Mephelians, each with their own motivations and rewards for scrap recovery.

Looking back, it kind of reminds me of a cross between Necromunda and Gorkamorka but without the fantasy elements. Sadly the game went out of production when Alpha Forge was sold off. There was a brief hope of a revamp when Mega Minis took over production and a revised edition was produced of the rules (I still prefer the original though as the artwork on the new one just didn't do it for me!).


Alas, Mega Minis closed its doors and Star Mogul faded into obscurity again. Its not all lost though as I have uploaded the original rulesets onto Scribd so you can download them and have a bash at gaming out some small skirmish actions in a ruined future!

While the alien races may be a tad harder to proxy, the human salvage teams are fairly easy to rework using pretty much any sci-fi range out there and I'd highly recommend at least downloading the rules and having a peruse as they contain some really nifty ideas for games at the smaller end of the scale.

I must admit that I've always intended to someday collect up an X12 Android Cult so that the AI's can fight for their freedom from human control!


Kryomek


Kryomek was one of the first games I picked up post GW and I loved the Aliens vibe that the artwork and background had but found the rules a bit clunky and uninspired.

I must admit that I have mixed feelings about the game as the setting is decent and the artwork on show is petty great and really sets the scene for humanity to discover it is not alone amongst the stars. A hive mind of an alien intelligence called the Kryomek is living out there and promptly attack forcing the two races into a war of extermination amongst the cold outer worlds.

While the setting really gets one interested, the rules themselves aren't fantastic and as is the case with several of the smaller rulesets, the game hasn't been well playtested or proof read as there are gaping holes in it that need sorting out.

Fantasy Forge did try to sort this out by releasing Hivestone which fleshed out the setting a bit and provided points costs and armylists but I firmly believe that Kryomek as it was could really have done with being produced in 15mm scale to cover the grand sweeping battlefield with hordes of Kryomek trying to overwhelm the firepower of  Nexus marines.

Now it may sound like I'm trashing Kryomek here, but its worth downloading the rules from Scotia Grendel (They're free too!) as they make for interesting reading for a setting and the Kryomek are a nice alternative to the likes of the Tyranids for 40k or Xenomorphs for alien type games. I must admit that I'd love to see Kryomek being re-released as a proper skirmish game featuring a squad or two of humans against alien menaces as they try to clear out a hive or settlement ala Aliens!

Chronopia


Ah Chronopia! Possibly my favourite fantasy game!

Produced by Target Games, the same company which brought us Warzone, Chronopia was a cracking game with innovative rules and a grimly compelling setting. It was also a game of large shoulderpads which some folks were put off with but I loved the over the top styling of the assorted races. 

The Elves wielded massive axes and the humans all looked a bit chaotic with their oversize plate and chunky weapons. The Dwarves were fantastic and animalistic whilst the Orcs, or Blackbloods as they were known were actually pretty civilised!

I fondly remember collecting up and painting a Dark Tusk Dwarf force and avidly reading the rulebook and subsequent forcebooks that were released and I was really saddened when Target closed down and Chronopia was relegated to the dustbin of forgotten games.

There was a brief last huzzah when a US company gained the rights for a while but it too folded and Chronopia vanished once again. Even the miniatures are virtually impossible to get hold of now as they were terribly prone to lead rot and I've not found any over the last few years which haven't suffered from that complaint making collecting a force rather a difficult prospect.

Over the last few months, I must admit that I've been thinking of trying to put together some proxy forces for the game but the unique styling of most of them has thus far proved a difficult obstacle to overcome and I am having to face facts that if I want to make a proper go of it, I am going to have to sculpt the stuff myself. 

This isn't too serious an issue but it is very time consuming so I have no idea when I will actually have the chance to complete such an ambitious idea!

Crucible


Crucible is another of the games produced by FASA briefly before it shut up shop but I always found it rather an intriguing game. It centres around the discovery of a new continent and the scramble to colonise it and exploit its resources by the various fantasy races who inhabit Ashkelon. 

The setting itself is rather good and the races have been changed enough to move away from the usual fantasy tropes. The Elves are all a bit cruel and perverse, the humans are ruled by an eternal woman, the Orcs are noble savages defending their homelands from imperialist invaders and the Dwarves are homeless vagrants. The list goes on but needless to say, it's a really great source of inspiration by itself.

The rules themselves are really very good and cover different formations and from the few times I played it, work really well and would even give the best editions of Fantasy Battle a run for their money. What let it down, other than going out of production within six months with the closure of FASA, was the miniatures!

The sculpts were a bit of a mixed bag with some really nice sculpts alongside some truly awful ones, plus the fact that no unit had more than two sculpts making for an annoyingly repetitive look. That being said, it is fairly easy to proxy pretty much every unit type so it's another game I fancy having a re-explore of this year (if I can find my copy which I seem to have mislaid!) 

Whee! 

Well I've listed a few of the games I hope to spend a bit of time with over the coming months and I am sure I will find more as I go through my collection and I am hoping to use the opportunity to paint some stuff, game a bit and actually enjoy my hobby!

In the meantime, All the best!