Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Age of Blood Warband

Hello again, I hope you are all well out there.

As I mentioned in my last post number one son wants to play some Viking raid games after watching Vikings on Amazon. 

After a search online he found a set of rules called Age of Blood and coerced me into playing it with him. I already have a fair sized collection of Dark Ages figures, but they are mostly painted up as Romano-British and Saxons. They are also less dynamic than #1 wanted, so I ordered some Victrix Vikings and set too with some cutters, knives and glue. The 30 figures I have done so far were shown in the last post, there are another 30 to do.

Age of Blood is a campaign skirmish system that will see your starting force gradually grow in size, at least hopefully. You have a leader or Hersir, supported by a few Champions and Berserkers, some Huscarls and some Carls.  The Champions, Berserkers and Huscarls are all permanent additions to the group, unless the are killed in a raid. The Carls are hired on for a single mission, being farmers who feel the need to go raiding for a quick cash fix. I have worked out a starting force and made up a roster, so here is a rundown of my merry bloodythirsty  band.

The Hersir is Eirik of Horkidalr. He has the shipmaster trait which allows him to carry 10% more men and cargo in his ships and also reduces the cost of voyages. Being a man of means and a rising star of the Viking world he is well equipped, with  sword, axe, shield, chain hauberk and a helmet. 

Eirik's renown has meant his call to arms has gathered a small but strong force. He is joined my two champions, both capable warriors with abilities that will aid in the raids. On the left is Bjarni, a very tough man, believed to be descended from the dwarves. He also has mail and a helmet but favours the Broad Axe over the sword and shield, relying on his resilience to keep him going. To the right is Gylfi, equipped in the same manner as Eirik. He is a scout, giving the ability to see what force defends a village before the raid takes place.
LtoR, Bjarni, Eirik and Gylfi
Tales of Eiriks fine mead and plans to go raiding led to a pair of Berserkers joining his group. First up is Gauti the Red, a fiery character with a Broad Axe. He is joined by Ottar Bearslayer, armed with a sword and shield. These two are faster and stronger than other warriors but cannot wear any armour so are more easily injured.
Gauti and Ottar
Five Huscarls have sworn their service to Eirik, a decent number to start with. On the flanks are the spearmen Aun and Jacob. In leather armour with helmets and shields, they carry spears and swords. Inside of them are Ingjald and Estrid, wearing chain and a helmet while carrying Broad Axes. They are the impact troops to try and smash through any enemy shieldwall with Bjarni. Finally, in the centre, we have Fafnir, equipped like Eirik he is a jack of all trades, able to fill in where needed.
Aun, Ingjald, Fafnir, Estrid, Jakob
Last, and least, are the ten Carls. These farmers are less capable than the others but should still be more than a match for enemy villagers and militia. They are hired on in groups of 5 and come with mixed weapons. One group have spear and shield while the others have shield and axe. Yes, I know two have Broad Axes, I got carried away when gluing them together. I have some more with axe and shield in the painting queue.
Ten Carls

This merry band are going raiding in a light Drakkar or Longship. This can carry 30 crew and 30 cargo, up to 33 of each due to Eiriks skill.

A starting warband has 1000 silver pennies(sp) to spend, with costs ranging from 20  to 80 for the man, then adding weapons and equipment. For example Fafnir cost a total of 99sp, half of which was the cost of his chain hauberk while Aun only cost 58sp. In addition you also need to keep some money back to pay for the voyages to get to the target of your raid and to return home. You also have an upkeep cost to pay after each raid, 2sp for a huscarl, 6 for a champion and 8 for berserkers and your Hersir. 

My initial spend came in at 966sp, so I have 34sp left in the bank. The upkeep of my band is 46sp, so I really need to be successful to keep them all together.

All I need now is for lockdown to end so that #1 and I can get together for a game. 
Plus I might need some more buildings.......
And maybe a Viking longship........

Take care of yourselves and I will see you later.

Saturday, 21 November 2020

Some more Mortal Gods figures plus a few Vikings

 Hello again to my reader. I hope you are well and getting more gaming in than I am. 

I have cracked on with a few more figures for Mortal Gods, so here are a couple of pictures.  Along with the usual historical Greeks Footsore have also added myths to the range, so I added a few mythical figures to the collection. First I did a few Athenians as additional troops to face the Spartans. Only 8 so far, although I will add some more at some point.

Eight Athenian Hoplites
Then I did up some mythical figures, starting with Jason and a trio of Argonauts. I tried to make them look like the classic image from the 1963 film, which I watched several times as an impressionable young lad. Nice enough figures, although the Argonauts are noticeably larger than the other Greek figures and Jason towers over them all.

Jason and a trio of Argonauts
Hoplite, Argonaut, Jason

As you can see, the mythical figures tower over the poor Spartan. Ah well, they will do for the game. Maybe size does matter in Mortal Gods. Talking of towering figures the main faction I am doing first is Zeus' followers and creatures. This force includes the mighty cyclops, minotaur and thundering Centaurs. I have a cyclops and minotaur now, although not the "official" figures as I couldn't justify £100 for two figures. The Footsore cyclops is £65 and the minotaur is £35. That's a bit excessive to my mind, so I started searching for proxy figures that would be imposing enough for the game.

The official Cyclops is a sizeable figure standing at 105mm(4 inches) to the top of his head. It is very reminiscent of the cyclops in the 7th Voyage of Sinbad movie from 1958, but that is not really Greek history.

In Greek history the cyclopes were giant man like creatures, brothers of the Titans and creators of Zeus' thunderbolt, so I wanted a more human looking figure. Luckily I found what I was looking for on Amazon and it even came pre-painted and just needed a base. Its bigger as well at 115cm tall!
The Mortal Gods minotaur is also a sizeable figure, although at 62mm it is no match for the cyclops.  
However as the cost was prohibitive again so I searched some more and found what I wanted on eBay. One quick payment later and I had what I wanted. A minotaur from the Mythic Battles boardgame, available for the grand total of £8. It is a bit smaller at a mere 50mm tall, but that still makes it a lot bigger than the Greek figures. So, here they are along with a priest and a champion of Zeus. A nice little add on and gives a few more options for the game when I do get to play it again. I do need to get some centaurs, sadly they are £15 each from Footsore so Wargames Foundry are looking good for an order soon(ish).
Cyclops, Minotaur, Priest and Champion

In addition to Mortal Gods I have also been painting a few figures for a Viking raider game that my son wants to play. He has watched Vikings on Amazon recently and wanted to play something along the lines of raids and warband building. He found a game called Age of Blood online and promptly got me to promise to play it with him. A quick purchase later and I had a bag of Victrix Vikings to paint. So here are the first half of them, along with four slightly modified Celtic fanatics as berserkers. Now we just need lockdown to end so we can get a game in.
Victrix Viking types

So that's the lot for now. I do have another 30 Vikings to put together and paint but we have enough for the game now. I have some villagers ready to be painted up for it though, so they will probably get done next. Then it is back to the 15mm Cold War vehicles I have sat waiting to be painted.

Keep safe folks and I will catch you next time. 

Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Greeks for Mortal Gods

 Hello again, welcome to lockdown 2.0 and all the joy it has brought us. đŸ˜•

A while ago(last November) I took the offer of Mortal Gods on sale, along with the Athens and Sparta supplements. Mortal Gods is a skirmish level game, if you have not checked it out then please do so as it is a fun game and plays very well. There are much more detailed reviews elsewhere so I will leave it there. The total package should have cost £120 but the offer was for the lot for £70 so I had it, plus the Persian cards for variety. The boxes came with 76 assorted Greeks in 28mm, mostly Victrix plastic figures but the supplements each came with 3 metal figures as well. 

Lockdown 1.0 gave me the chance to start assembling the figures and then paint was slapped about. To get me in the zone so to speak I started with some plastic Hoplites I bought many moons ago from Immortal Miniatures, they are now available from Warlord Games. For some reason I had 8 of these in an part-painted state for several years. So here they are to start it all off.

8 Immortal/Warlord Hoplites

Then it was onto the Victrix and Footsore figures. I started off on some generic Hoplites. I did 15 in armour first, trying to vary their outfits as befits a citizen military force. The shields are all done with LBMS/Victrix decals as I am not painting that many individual shields. Also they look really nice.

Armoured Hoplites

Then I did some unarmoured Hoplites, same principle as the others just less protection. I did up a few as leader/heroic types as well. Plus I painted the Athenian character figures I had. So here are 9 unarmoured hoplites and 4 heroic individuals.
Hoplites and Leaders
After the heavier troops it was time to start on some lightweight types. I may have got a bit carried away with the number of peltasts I did, but I like them in the game so I did quite a few. There are 16 of these annoying javelin men.

Peltasts, peltasts everywhere
Then it was the really light troops, some slingers and javelinmen to supplement the others. I did 6 of each as they tend to be an extra you take to make up the points. An irritant rather than a game winner.

Finally so far I did some Spartans. Only 20 more figures but they have proved to be pretty tough so far. There are 9 each of armoured and unarmoured hoplites plus a couple of metal leader figures. 

The Spartans are coming!

So there they are so far, 84 figures in total done and ready to go. I still have some more to do as Athenians (spit) but the mojo has gone for the moment. I think the lack of gaming this year has had a major effect on the productivity, it's hard to get inspired for something you can't play.

I hope you lot are having fun anyway, hopefully Christmas will bring some cheer to a pretty shite year.

Monday, 2 November 2020

28mm Chain of Command 1940 additions

Hello again folks, it's time for another ramble from damp, windy Devon.

I was looking back through my previous posts and realised I had not shown you my latest addition to my 28mm Chain of Command forces. I previously showed the French infantry and German infantry with their relevant support, so now it is time for the British and German Pioneers. These were all done last year, but I completely forgot to mention them.

So, without further ado, here are the British. A full platoon with enough figures to make either the earlier 8 man squads or the later 10 man squads. These are a mix of old Blitzkrieg Miniatures and Crusader Miniatures British Infantry. 

British Platoon
Support for the British is varied and fairly interesting. First up is the ubiquitous Vickers MG and another 2" mortar. The Vickers gives some heavy firepower to add to the accuracy of the Bren guns while the 2" mortar is always useful with it's smoke laying capability. This can be used to either screen your advance or to block line of sight, allowing you to concentrate fire more effectively. Also in this photo is a mighty addition to my French force in the shape of a 37mm TRP gun, which makes a change form the more useful, effective and pretty 25mm and 47mm AT guns. It's an old WW1 weapon that was used as an ad-hoc AT gun due to a shortage of the 25mm AT guns in the French army. The British can also use the 25mm AT gun from the French force as some were included in the Divisional AT platoon.
Vickers MG, 2" Mortar, 37mm Death Ray Gun

Some armoured support now, a bit lighter and a lot quicker than my Matilda II. At the back are a pair of Vickers VIb light tanks, used by the Reconnaissance Regiments attached to the infantry Divisions. Not a particularly capable tank, but it is armoured and can nip around and annoy German infantry quite nicely. In front are a trio of Bren Gun carriers, 10 of which were in each infantry battalions Carrier platoon. It was quite nice to find these instead of having to use the later Universal Carrier. Two have just a Bren Gun while the other has an additional Boys AT rifle. The crews are chopped up Warlord British infantry and I use these as mobile MGs, shooting around at high speed and trying to pick off isolated enemy units where possible. These are all 3d printed as well but from Butlers Printed Models this time. They are lovely models and are a pleasure to paint up. They also do the Cavalry Carrier, which is a nice touch and may be added to the force at a later point.
Light Tanks and Bren Carriers

At some point I probably need to get a 2pdr AT gun but apart from that I think my force is done.

To give the Germans some other options I painted up a Pioneer Platoon. There force structure is very different from the standard infantry with 3 large squads of 16 men each. I have painted up enough options to allow them to have all the choices, wire clearing, mine clearing, demolition or flamethrowers. These are Warlords Pioneer figures, which are their Blitzkrieg Germans with some metal bits and pieces. They look the part and make a nice change from the standard infantry.
Pioneers, ready to blow stuff up

I also added a couple of Panzer 38t's, the Czech tank used by Rommels 7th Panzer Division. A reasonable gun for 1940 and adequate armour makes these a decent option for the Germans.
A pair of Panzer 38t's
The final additions are more German armour, a StuGIIIA and a mighty Panzer I. There were very few StuG's about in 1940 as only about 30 model A's were made, but they were about so I got one. It is kind of limited as the A model didn't have any machine guns fitted, just the 75mm gun. The Panzer I is really only an armoured pillbox, it has no anti-tank capability and the armour is thin. Still, with the Panzer II and Sd222 I already have I think the Germans have enough support options.

StuG III and Panzer I

So, there they are. I am off out now for the last Monday night game before Lockdown 2.0 kicks in. Stay safe folks and I will catch you all next time, where there will be Greeks and plenty of them.