Thursday 24 March 2016

Foteviken 1134: Hirdmen

Here is another batch of miniatures for our Salute demonstration game, The Battle of Foteviken 1134. Up until now, my main focus has been the cavalry, but this time I've painted up some infantry from the king's and jarl's hirds, i.e. their household warriors.

The miniatures are once again a mix of Black Tree Design and Gripping Beast. The BTD 2nd Crusade models in particular, are very nice indeed.

For this project, I've not held back on the bright colours, especially on the shields. With lots of sharp colours, there's always the danger of them clashing and/or looking too garish. However, here they are balanced by muted browns and the greyish looks of their armours. All in all, I'm rather pleased with the final look.

This model is supposed to represent the son of the Danish king, Magnus, with his personal banner bearer. Like most of his brothers-in-arms, Magnus was killed at the battle, but not before making a heroic last stand. Let's see how he fares this time ...

As always, thanks for looking!

Tuesday 15 March 2016

Gaming with the Kids 1: Goblin Quest

My oldest son is turning five this summer and lately we've been talking a lot about gaming with "daddy's toys". He's been wanting to play on a "real table" with terrain and everything, so this past Saturday we went down to the club for our first proper miniatures game together.

I had found some very simple rules, that still looked like a lot of fun, devised by a dad in a similar situation as myself. They're called Goblin Quest, and it seems they've since developed into something a bit more involved. However, the basic rules were more than enough for my needs at this point.

The game is played on grids, such as you get on dungeon floor plans, but as he wanted to play with regular terrain I substituted the random, grid-based movement with measuring sticks for movement and shooting. I also decided to move the setting from a dungeon to a mystical forest.

I had some Foundry knights in my lead pile, originally released by Citadel in the 80s, that I painted up to use as the heroes. I don't want to sound like a nostalgic old grognard, but these are really nice Perry sculpts that have stood the test of time admirably.

For the enemies, I wanted some classic but not too scary monsters and goblins fit the bill perfectly. Luckily, I had some extra goblin minis from the Dungeon Saga kickstarter that were pressed into service. Unfortunately, I didn't have the time to paint these up but they worked fine unpainted (gasp!). I knocked their strength down from 1D6 to 1D4 to speed things up a bit.

I started the game by telling him he was a knight in service of the king, and now the king had asked him to go to the mystical forest and collect some magical crystals. However, he'd better beware as the crystals were guarded by some evil goblins. He then got to chose which of the knight models to use in the game and he chose the red one.

The table set up.

As this was his introduction to gaming, I thought it was important that the objectives were very clear and all treasures and enemies visible from the start. The table was set up with paths/corridors leading to clearings/rooms where the crystals were placed (I used some red playing gems to represent these) together with the goblins. In the final room I placed the "boss" – the goblin chief in the form of the first mini my son has painted all by himself, a Reaper Bones bugbear. He was incredibly proud of this contribution to the game, and it made this feel more like a joint project between us.

Another foe defeated.

The brave knight faces off against the brutal goblin chief.

The game was a big hit, and he proceeded through the forest, the knight knocking down goblins and collecting crystals, all the while cheering when he won and taking his (few) setbacks in stride. In the end, the knight faced off against the huge goblin chief, which he managed to defeat and thus collecting the final crystal for the king. Victory for the hero!

The game was pretty much perfectly timed in terms of length: collecting four crystals took about 15–20 minutes, which was about as much time as he could concentrate for.

With the goblins all defeated, the knight
can collect the final crystal. Victory for our hero!

We've already talked about playing again. While I'm keeping the general setup, this time I'm thinking about using some other monsters like skeletons, just to make it a bit more interesting. I'm also looking to substitute the Mantic goblins with some Citadel ones, as I'm not a fan of the formers aesthetics.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday 9 March 2016

Foteviken 1134: Flags for the Cavalry

We did some more play testing for the Foteviken 1134 project at the club a while ago and I took the opportunity to take some pictures, focusing on the finished flags for the cavalry. You've already seen a sneak peek of these in the previous post but here are some better pictures.

It was very nice to see it all starting to come together. In fact, we were so pleased with the look of our collected forces that I was promptly given the order to do another 12 mounted models. Right now I'm in the midst of painting up a big batch of hirdmen (armoured infantry), but after these I will tackle some more riders.

I'm now beginning to dread transporting all these cavalry models to Salute ...

Thanks for reading!