Sunday, June 16, 2019

Ogre Test Run

Hi all,

Go in my first game with the Ogres (or "Ogors", as they're now called).  1000 point list, very zen (one with everything, i.e., I took a little of a lot of different units), and mostly about trying out the army and seeing how it runs.


Only got pics from the start of the game, as once things got going I spent a fair bit of time looking things up (and hence forgot).  I was playing against Daughters of Khaine, which is a reasonably competitive army, so wasn't really expecting a win.  In the end, I lost on points, but was reasonably pleased at how killy the boys were.


When the army connects, it hits like a ton of bricks.  I had zero issues removing units from the table as long as they ogors hit.  With a 4+ to hit for most things, however, they can be swingy, and I whiffed as much as I knocked things flying.


The army is also elite - a small number of high-capability models, with only moderate speed.  Movement and forethought will be key, as they're not fast enough, or numerous enough, to afford thoughtless casualties, or seize objectives through sheer mass.  In fact, they're a really nice counterpoint in that sense to the Beast of Chaos, who are super-speed, more or less a horde, but hit like pillows.


I really enjoy painting these guys, and playing them was fun as well.  There's a campaign starting up in the shop, so I think I'll be bringing them out on a regular basis for that.  More pics as stuff gets done.


Sunday, May 19, 2019

Something compl(EAT)ly different

Hi all,

The outcome of a whim today.

I've been fond of GW's ogor (i.e., ogre) models since their launch many moons ago.  They're among the most characterful of the "old world" models, and have been tempted for years to pick some up.  A ways back I finally succumbed, and today's post is the outcome.


These guys were a ton of fun to paint.  They're chunky, and while it may seem odd to say it, they feel good in the hand.  Big enough to allow for some detail, but simple enough to not be a chore to paint.


I have no idea how they'd handle on the table, other than they're sort of an inherently "elite" force, made up of multi-attack, multi-wound, large-based models, which is a bit out of my comfort zone.


I've also got an Ironblaster on deck (their support cannon), which is primed up, and in the queue.  Once that's done, I'll likely pick up a box of Ironguts, which are their upgraded CC unit.


Not sure that these guys will be a super-huge priority (at least until I get enough together for a game), but I can see picking up the occasional box and puttering.  Aside from being a pleasure to paint, there's something appealing about their lore.  There will be plenty of "get in my belly" and "fee fie foe fum" jokes when these boys are on the table.



Sunday, May 12, 2019

Oh, those Russian (horse)s

Hi all,

Some 6mm stuff this week, Russian hose of both the pretty and scruffy variety.  First up are some cossacks, because you can't do Russians without cossacks.




These are, as best as I can figure, Don cossacks.  In the 7YW, Russian cossacks were (even) more disorganized than in the napoleonic period, having not yet been formally brought into the army, or subject to discipline etc.  They were basically roaming clouds of bandits that would move ahead and around of the Russian army, nominally scouting, but often as not plundering, robbing, and otherwise taking advantage of the general chaos.  The pictures I've seen of Don cossacks have them in blue and red, so blue and red they are.


A somewhat different set of fellows are the Kievskiy cuirassier, one of a small number of cuirassier units the Russians were in the process of generating at the opening of hostilities.  Prior to this, Russian "ordered" horse were almost all Dragoons, but they were in the process of converting some formations to both the light / pursuit role and the heavier cuirassier.



From what I've read, a fair bit of Russian doctrine was in transition, both before and during the war, partly as a response to overall trends, but also as a product of see-sawing Russian politics towards "german", i.e., foreign influences.

Still haven't made up my mind about whether to stick with a Russian cavalry-heavy force, or add in some Austrians.  Have been playing around with flags for both, so we'll see.


Friday, May 3, 2019


Hi all,

We kicked off the local MESBG Battle Companies campaign (say that ten times fast) the other day, and man, it was a blast.  There was a pretty big turn-out, with 11 or so people there (and a couple more who are participating, but couldn't make the evening), which is probably the largest BC turnout I've seen.

For the campaign, I'm taking Mordor, with a starting band of 3 orcs with shield, 2 spear, 2 two-handed weapon, and 2 bow.  My leader, Thrakul, is one of the 2H orcs, something a little different from the last time I booted up an orc warband.

He's a bad 'un
My first game was against a buddy, who's a regular opponent in both SBG and Age of Sigmar.  He took out an Isengard force.  This gave me the edge in numbers (my 9 to his 7), but he had an advantage in troop quality (in that the fighting Uruk Hai are a strict upgrade to your average orc).  We played the  scenario in which one player defends a position (and set of objectives) at the center of the board, and another tries to "burn" the objectives by ending a turn in contact, without having shot, or participated in a fight that turn.

The Lads

The scenario (which we've played a few times before), tends to favour the defender, unless the attacker has a real advantage in numbers, or gets some lucky breaks on priority rolls.  Basically, the attacker needs to get into a position where they can tie up multiple defenders, freeing other models to reach and burn the objectives.

Initial deployment

With the edge in numbers, I was generally  able to gang up on my opponent's Uruks, denying them access to the objectives, and counter-balancing his advantage in quality.  Of the five, he only managed to burn one, and the game ended when his warband broke.  First blood for Mordor!  I used the Influence points I'd gained (basically, campaign resource rewards) to recruit another orc, and upgrade Thrakul to heavy armor.  I also got enough experience on one of my heroes, Grudak (an archer), to make a roll on the advancement table (he'd been lethal in the game, picking off three wounds from opposing models).

IMG_0769 (1)
Isengard closes in

In the new edition, heroes commit to one of a range of different advancement "paths", each of which offers a variation on the kind of stat improvements and special rules a hero can pick up.  Grudak opted for the Path of the Scout, and ended up getting Throwing Daggers.  Admittedly, a little odd for an archer, but throwing weapons can come in handy (you can move and shoot without penalty), and I tend to use my archers as back-up fighters pretty often.

Final stages

The way the campaign works, each phase allows for one hex expansion.  If you win, you can claim an additional hex.  I quickly moved from my starting position towards the Lake of Rhun, one of the special bonus hexes on the map.  Whoever controls it has a chance to expand an additional hex when they win a game.

Phase 1

While we'll only play one round per week, as this was the launch, we opted to go through a second round and game.  I used my "free" expansion to take the Lake, which puts me in a good position to drive towards the centre of the map, where some of the juicier bonus hexes can be found.

Unfortunately, another player also had designs on the Lake, and decided to take her pesky Lothlorian elves out for a spin.  This was, in many ways a repeat of the Uruk game, in that it was my numbers vs. her troop quality.  The scenario was based off of kills by your leader; whichever player's leader model caused the most wounds, would win.

In the end, despite some rather heroic turns from the Lothlorian captain (at least two rounds of combat where he was surrounded 4 to one, and won the fight), the elves were whittled down and broken.  Thrakul and the elf captain ended up tied at two kills each, so we drew on the scenario.  This meant I didn't get to use the bonus ability from the Lake of Rhun (you have to win to expand again), but I did keep control of the hex.  Thrakul also promoted, choosing the Path of the Warrior, and gaining an point of Fight (which is pretty solid for an orc), and I rolled a "special" result on my attempt to recruit, gaining a Morgul Stalker (basically an orc ninja).  I don't have the official model, so have busily set about converting one.

Phase 2

Both games were a blast (I got so engrossed in the second I forgot to take pictures!).  I love SBG, and Battle Companies combines all the campaign advancement goodness I associate with games like Mordheim with the strong mechanics of the core game.  It's objective driven, and lends itself to narrative gaming, which I love.  Super-excited to see the campaign continue.  We plan to keep it going all through the summer, so hopefully the level of interest is sustained.


Monday, April 29, 2019

Hail, Theoden, King!

Hi all,

Got in my first, "full game" game of Lord of the Rings the other day with Rohan.  I've played them extensively in Battle Companies (the narrative / skirmish version of the game), but this was the first time I've had enough painted to be comfortable dropping them on the table.

The Rohirrim ride forth.

I took out 500 points of Riders, led by Theoden, Gamling, and Eowyn, against my buddy's brand new Corsairs of Umbar army, led by a (generic) Ringwraith, Dalmyr (the Corsair "big name" character), and a couple of bosuns (minor heroes).

Theoden inspires the troops.  Finished him up the other day, lovely model.

It was smashing fun.  Rohan bring to the table what I love, mobility, and flexibility.  The can shoot, fight, skirmish and charge; not the best at anything, but pretty good all-round.  About the only thing they don't do well are numbers / horde tactics, and for that, I have Mordor.

Both sides worn down.  I'm looking to take out his characters at this point.

We played a scenario (the game is very much scenario / objective driven) in which we were both trying to escape across the table, getting points for models we moved off, and wounding the opposing leader.  This actually presented me with a fairly interesting tactical problem, in that while my all mounted force could easily run rings around my opponent, if I simply ran across the table, I'd lose.  He outnumbered me to a significant degree (about 2:1), and the game ends when a force is broken.  In other words, if I ran across the table, he'd be able to do the same (although it would take him longer), and he'd end up with more scoring models than I had.  I had to not only get my guys across, but also whittle his down enough that he couldn't outscore me!

With at least moderate success.

This led to some fairly cagey play in the first half of the game, where I used my speed and range to try and whittle him down, and then a series of charges, counter-charges, and melees in the second half as he tried to break through, and I looked for advantageous fights.  Rohan does well on the charge, but is vulnerable to being bogged down and mobbed, and it was a solid learning game for me, as I worked out how to use heroic abilities to keep my Riders in a position to choose fights.

The more I play this game, the more I enjoy it.  We'll be starting another Battle Companies campaign this week, but I'm also hoping to get in some side games with full armies, so likely to be coverage of SBG in the future.


Friday, April 19, 2019


Hi gang,

As this weekend we have both Geequinox (the smaller of the two "geek" conventions that happen in town) and Easter, both of which tend to be pretty time consuming at Chez Monkey, so not likely to get a chance to post on the weekend.  I figured a day or two early wouldn't hurt.

I seem to be on a historical jag, so I dug out the Spartan psiloi that have been gazing accusingly (if stoically) at me from the shelf for some time, and got them finished up.  They're based for Impetus.



These guys are all, I think, Xyston 18mm, a range I come to appreciate more and more every time I paint them.



With these two units finished, I've got two Spartan phalanx, an allied phalanx, a unit of horse and peltasts, and three skirmish units.  Probably looking at more hoplites, especially allies, but it's starting to pull together as a small, but coherent force.  I've used integrated command on the bases, largely, but may treat myself to a command stand or two as well.


Saturday, April 13, 2019

Oh, those Russians

Hi all,

Had an urge to break out some 6mm Russians, and paint a little historical stuff.  Managed to finish a couple of units of infantry, the Azovskiy, and Chernigovskiy regiments.


The green blends in a bit, I think.

As it turns out, these are the only Russian infantry I have - the bunch of stuff I got last year was heavy on Russian cavalry, but short on walkers.  There's a couple of things I can do about this (aside from the obvious "buy more").  One is to build a cavalry-focused force (which is an option for Maurice), while the other is to make a combined Russian-Austrian army.  As I'm working roughly from the OOB for Kunersdorf (where the two armies were actively integrated), the latter makes some sense (especially given I have a crapton of Austrians).



I always forget how much I like painting these guys.

With these guys finished, I'll likely turn to some cossacks, and then maybe a little 40k painting.  The Cub and I got the new Shadowspear box for our birthdays, and the chaos models are looking pretty good, especially the obliterators.