Tuesday, April 28, 2009

War of the Ring Escalation League Rules

I've done some thinking about the upcoming War of the Ring escalation league.

I'm a really, really big fan of them because leagues encourage regular play without imposing too much of a competitive atmosphere on things while, at the same time, making it easier to slowly work your way into a new army.

We've been talking about doing a Skirmish of the Rings league for a while now. Now, with War of the Ring out, we've been talking about doing one of those as well.

Something I've really wanted to see is a way to tie the skirmish game in with the larger scale game. That we have a fully fleshed out skirmish game that segues into a larger game is simply too good of an opportunity to pass on. This morning, on the way into work, I think I came up with how.

I've also tweaked the rules to prevent some of the abuses we've seen in the past, as well as to better reward the sort of thing we want to see more of, but have done an imperfect job of encouraging.

So, without further ado:

Draft Rules for the 2009 IFL War of the Ring Summer Escalation League.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Painting Progress - 20090426

I've got precious little painted in the past week, thanks to an unfortunate work schedule as well as a number of other obligations. The next few weeks don't look like they're going to be much better: in fact, I think I'm going to have to declare the weekend of May 15 - May 17 "Fuck you, this is my free weekend!" Weekend.

I did wrap up a rank of Haradrim archers and a Haradrim Banner, however. I still have to paint the design on the standard, but that will wait.

I also went ahead and converted up some hornblowers. They don't make musician models for the Harad troops, but they're certainly an option in War of the Ring (and, as of White Dwarf, 352, Skirmish of the Ring... where they'll be tremendously useful for my Far Harad).

The conversions were pretty minor: just an arm and a hand swap. I used horns from the WHFB Wood Elves, with the expectation that they'd be suitably feral. They look really good, I think.

28mm elf hands, as it turns out, are just a tiny bit small for 25mm man hands. So, they're darn close enough. I also ordered some Beastman horns, to see how they'd look. Those hands are much too large, which is unfortunate. Still: all of this is a much better approach than the once GW Fair Oaks suggested: by the $25 Rohan command kit, cut off the arm off of one of them, use it, and you know, just forget about the rest.

I also made a banner bearer for my Mahud Warriors. I went around and around on approaches, and finally settled on just using the rack thing that comes with the Mahud Chieftain/King model. Although I think the racks look awesome on those models, I need something to represent a banner, and I can't think of anything that's quite as appropriate.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

War of the Ring: Army Status

There was a suggestion that folks should rattle off what they're working with and where they are with it for War of the Ring. It's not a bad one, but a forum thread feels like an odd place for that sort of thing... where as a blog (or as mentioned in the thread, a wiki) is the perfect place.

17 Haradrim Warriors (Spears x12, Bows x4, Banner x1)

Suladan the Serpent Lord (Foot & Mounted)
Dalamyr, Lord of Umbar
Mahud King (Foot & Mounted)
Haradrim Chieftain
Corsair Captain
Corsair Bosun
4 Half Trolls (Normal x2, Two Handed Weapons x2)
12 Mahud Warriors (Normal x9, Blowpipes x3)
24 Corsair of Umbar(Shields x8, Spear x8, Bow x8)

Partially Assembled:
5 Mahud Raiders

12 Mahud Warriors (Normal x6, Blowpipe x6)

On Order:
24 Haradrim Warriors (Spears x12, Bows x12)
24 Corsair of Umbar (Shields x8, Spear x8, Bow x8)
Haradrim Raiders x6 (Normal x3, Bow x2, Banner x1)
4 Half Trolls (Normal x2, Two Handed Weapons x2)
Mordor/Isengard Troll

What all of that mess will eventually get me (in terms of War of the Ring) is:
- Suladan
- Dalamyr
- 51 Haradrim Warriors (~6 Companies)
- 24 Spears
- 24 Bows
- 1 Banner
- 1 Chieftan
- 1 Hasharin
- 6 Haradrim Raiders (6 Companies)
- 3 Spears
- 2 Bows
- 1 Banner
- 50 Corsairs of Umbar (~6 Companies)
- 16 Shields
- 16 Spears
- 16 Bows
- 1 Captain
- 1 Bosun
- 25 Mahud Warriors (~3 Companies)
- 15 Normal
- 9 Blowpipes
- 1 Chieftain
- 6 Mahud Raiders (3 Companies)
- 5 Raiders
- 1 Chieftain
- 8 Half Trolls
- Troll (Mordor, Isengard or Cave)

I've got some work cut out for me to converting up musicians and standard bearers on the Mahud, as well as a musician for the Haradrim. I don't plan on buying any more models past this until I get the chance to play the game a bit more.

I've done a lot of thinking about how to run a more balanced force while maintaining my Harad theme; it'll involve a lot of conversion, I think, and flat out model subsitution (for ghostly troops and seige weapon crew). It'll make getting spun up on the game a lot harder, but I think it'll ultimately really pay off.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Neologism: Skirmish of the Rings

Skirmish of the Rings [skur-mish uhv thuh rings]

1. The skirmish-scale Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game published by Games Workshop.

2. Not the War of the Ring game published by Games Workshop.
I've gotten tired of talking about one of the GW Lord of the Rings games with someone and one of the involved parties getting confused about which game we're actually talking about.

With this designation, it should hopefully be more clear.

Painting Progress - 20090420

Didn't bother taking any pictures for this past week's work: very little is picture worthy.

I finished a third (and final, until I pick up another box of them tomorrow) rank of Haradrim spearmen, got about halfway through a first rank of Haradrim archers, assembled six more Mahud warriors (though I've got another 12 still waiting in blisters) and did most of the assembly of five Mahud Raiders.

I should be getting an order of more stuff for * of the Rings in the next couple of days. This is good, because once it's assembled, I'll be able to start taking clumsy stabs at low-level games of War of the Ring. It's unfortunate, however, because right now I'd much rather be painting stuff than feeling like I have to grind through assembling a bunch of stuff. At least by next week I should be able to play respectable games of Skirmish of the Rings fully painted.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Red Blok Party

Man, that Red Blok army box is almost too good a deal to resist.

I've had a shoebox of AT-43 stuff for quite some time, but honestly have never really played it. The Dotch Yaga so awesome, though, that I don't think I care!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I started putting together some of the Mahud Raiders I picked up last night. I was excited about them; half-trolls and camelry are things I've been excited about for quite some time.

Dear God, though: I'm pretty sure the Raiders are proof that Games Workshop hates me. All metal, tons of flash (pokey, pokey flash!) lots of little parts that I'm not sure how to pin... ugh.

First LotR and AI Games

Played my first two games of Lord of the Rings (the skirmish game)* and my first game of Aeronautica Imperialis last night.

I won't get into how they went (2 for 3) of what I used because they weren't so much games as demos. I certainly had no idea of what I was doing in either system: it's been months since I last read the Lord of the Rings rules and I've never read AI's.

All were fun enough; all are going to take a great deal of getting used to. The simultaneous turn thing (present in both games) is going to be an adjustment, that's for sure. It's also nice that both games take up very little space, so it should be easy to just toss them in the car with whatever else I'm carting out to Game Parlor.

* You know, I think we need alternate names for Lord of the Rings and War of the Ring. I've lost track of how many times I've been speaking to someone about one or the other and everyone involved has gotten confused about which we're actually talking about. Maybe "Skirmish of the Ring" and "War of the Ring."

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Painting Progress - 20090414

This weekend was the IFL Winter 2009 Fantasy Escalation League Tournament. I'll skip over the details; the short version was, it was a pretty good time with two very enjoyable games and one that was somewhat less so. I'm done with Fantasy for the next while.

In the meantime, I've finished my first company of Haradrim Warriors for Lord of the Rings/War of the Ring. I'm dissatisfied with their faces (especially the eyes), but faces are hard enough to do at 28mm. Drop things down to 25mm and it's even harder.

Now that I've got a feel for painting them, the rest of the plastics should paint up very quickly. I expect I can knock out four in a bit more than a day. The metal figures are significantly more detailed, however, so they're likely to be a lot more work.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Painting Progress - 20090407

Finally finished the Barracudas. These things took way longer than they should have to paint, and I'm not altogether pleased with them. I didn't do nearly as good a job of prepping the resin miniature as I could/should have, and my wash/extreme highlighting combo is a lot of work for not a lot of payoff here.

I also started in on my Haradrim. There's still a bit more work to do with them: I don't think I'm going about basing them the best way I can, and I think the skin and eyes need a bit more work/blending. For the most part, though, I'm happy with how the cloth is coming out.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

War of the Ring

Now that I've finally gotten the chance to read through War of the Ring, on top of actually playing around with the minis ('cause it's all about the toys), I've done some more thinking about what I'm going to try to do for War of the Ring.

I'm not sure how much I'm going to want to buy into the game, so the fewer sets and metal models the better. Although I love Far Harad (Mahud and Half-trolls = awesome!), $45-$60 a company is just too damn much.

I get 3 company's worth of Haradrim in each box (1.5 companies with spears and 1.5 companies with bows). This is kind of annoying, because it means I've got to keep the number of my stabby Haradrim about equal to my shooty Haradrim. I'd rather not end up with a box of unpainted archers.

A friend of mine found a really good deal on some Serpent Riders on eBay: $1 for a box of six and something like twelve hours left on the auction. Still waiting to see if that comes through, but for now I'll assume it did (otherwise, I'll replace the Serpent Riders with Haradrim Raiders).

Also, I'm kind of excited about turning a Troll into a Troll from Harad. It seems reasonable to try to have a monster but I don't really want to rock a Mumak. Plus I kind of like the idea of localizing any of the allied units I might want to run.

So, that gets me:
Suladan, the Serpent Lord
Abrakhan Guard - Hornblower
Haradrim Warband x3 - Hasharin, Taskmaster, Banner, Hornblower
Haradrim Warband x3 - Bows
Haradrim Warband x3 - Bows
Serpent Rider Warband x3 - Chieftan, Banner, Hornblower
Mordor Troll
I'm sure there's a lot of room for improvement, but it's a relatively inexpensive start for me.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Painting Progress - 20090404

There's a disconcerting lack of pictures here, and that's really supposed to be the primary focus of this thing.

Still, this isn't terribly surprising; I'm kinda-sorta in between projects. I've just decided to abandon my Tyranid army (to eBay, Batman!), have been waiting for War of the Ring to come out, and have been stunned and frustrated by actually playing Skaven in a local Fantasy escalation league.

So, in the interests of vomiting up painted content onto the shoes of the internet, I give you: some of the stuff I've painted over the past month or so:

I blew through 25 Stormvermin in a single week. I still really can't believe I managed that. It was far, far more than I should have attempted because it contributed a great deal to my Skaven burnout.

I just finished a fourth squad of Deathwing Terminators. This is one of my "Devestator" squads: nothings special save for the Cyclone Missile Launcher.

I also painted up a power armored Librarian in a day for a friend to use in my Rapid Fire Tournament.

Next up on my to-do list are some Tau Barracudas (Barracudae?) for Aeronautica Imperialis and some Haradrim Warriors for Lord of the Rings/War of the Ring.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Battle Company

My primary army is Dark Angels.

While learning both 5th and the Dark Angels codex, I started out with a Battle Company list (that is, a list emphasizing power armored marines instead of Deathwing or Ravenwing) but when the new Space Marine codex came out I decided to play to my codex's strengths (scoring terminators! scouting bikes!).

I've had a pretty good list, I think, that's primarily Terminators with bike support... but I'm getting a little tired of it; time to shake things up a bit. Plus, I have a tendency to roll awfully, and a failed 2+ terminator save hurts a lot more than a failed 3+ marine save.

So, just for the hell of it, I've thrown together a regular marine army. I think the dual Land Raiders is probably goofier than I normally like to run; I figure I'll play a game or two with them and then replace one with my usual Devestator spam.
Company Veterans x9 - Lightning Claws x2, Powerfist, Meltagun
Tactical Squad x10 - Powerfist, Plasmagun, Missile Launcher
- Rhino - Pintle-mounted Stormbolter
Tactical Squad x10 - Powerfist, Plasmagun, Plasmacannon
- Razorback - Heavybolters, Pintle-mounted Stormbolter
Tactical Squad x5 - Flamer
Land Raider
Land Raider Crusader - Extra Armor
Azrael rides with the Company Veterans in the Crusader. They'll hit very hard and be very hard to kill with a 4+ Invulnerable. Tactical Marines are good at pretty much everything. The other Land Raider sticks around in the back and provides some anti-tank support while the Whirlwind helps out with anti-infantry. (I'm not used to running without more frag missiles.)

Obligatory Introductory Post

I've been painting miniatures off and on since the early '90's, and actually rolling dice around in the context of them for the past three years or so.

I play Warhammer 40K more than anything else, but have dabbled to varying degrees with some other games as well. At the time of this post, the armies I've got are:

Warhammer, 40K
  • Dark Angels
  • Tau Empire
  • Skaven
  • Cygnar
  • Circle Orboros
Hell Dorado
  • Démons
  • Égarés
I figure this thing will be for posting pictures of projects I'm working on, in addition to saving my friends and family from endless mumbling about army lists. (Unless they're reading here, in which case they have it coming to them.)

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