Fawkes Hunt Age of Sigmar Narrative Event

Fifth of November. The Wizard Fawkes has absconded with the King’s mystic orb, and six generals lead their armies to find Fawkes and retrieve the artefact. Thanks again to the Game Vault in Fredericksburg for hosting.

The players were divided into groups of 3 at each table and set up 1,000 point forces each for the first round of Triumph & Treachery. The Wizard Fawkes had been spotted and the lead element of each army converged on the Wizard has he appeared to be furiously working his artefact in a desperate attempt to teleport away and escape.

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Skaven, Chaos Bloodbound, and Duardin all move in to grab the artefact. The Duardin got to the wizard first–Fawkes vanishing in a cloud of mist but leaving the artefact to fall into the hands of the Duardin lieutenant.

Skaven jezzails attempt to snipe the Duardin artillerists.

The model carrying the artefact climbs aboard the flying boat and escapes the clutches of Chaos.

Meanwhile, at the other table, forces of Order, Chaos, and Destruction moved into a ruined temple complex to capture what appeared to be the Wizard Fawkes. It turned out this was the real Wizard, and the Duardin flying away discovered they had only captured a forgery which crumbled into dust.

In the second round of games, players took only a small scouting force composed of no more than 100 points of models, without any heroes, and sent these lead elements ahead to find the missing component which Fawkes had dropped before capture and which would unlock the full power of the artefact.

Once again, the Orruk warboss found fortune when his scouting troops found the key nearby in the temple complex. Now the full power of the artefact belonged to him! Would he immediately return it to the King or use it for his own nefarious schemes?

Eric brought along his customized deck of terrain cards to help players keep track of what different special terrain features did during the game. Very handy!

This is the Skaven abomination that simply would not die! It consumed a unit of Maneaters before turning to eat a pair of heroes.

An old Skaven cannon catches a shaman standing in a clearing on a nearby hill and shortened the lifespan of the fellow.

In the third round of games the full might of each general’s army was in the field, all 2K points for each player. All was thrown into disorder as each general fought to position themselves for superiority before the mystic orb could be used to change the course of history in the realm. Even the forces of Order turned against each other.

Nurgle sent his own chosen to stop the Orruks and their Warboss with the artefact in his hand. Unfortunately he had unlocked the full power of the artefact and was not only able to teleport to any point on the battlefield but also was able to manipulate time (allowing a re-roll once per turn).

The Orruks stayed on top and won the event!

Miniature Wargaming Free Demo Day

I finally got around to organizing and running a free demo game day to showcase a variety of miniature games with some of my gaming friends at my friendly local gaming store.  I’ve participated in several of these sort of events, organized by Shades in the greater D.C. area at different stores  ( http://minimayhem-theblog.blogspot.com/search/label/Demo%20Day ), but this is the first time I took on the mantle of leadership and rallied the troops, so to speak, to show off some games in my home town.

FreeI started with a mission statement:  my goal was to create an event open to the public and invite anyone to step up and try a game.  Then I presented the store owners with a proposal, which was accepted, arranged for a date, and recruited some gamers to present their favorite games.  Finally, with several players agreeing to bring in their own painted miniatures and allow members of the public to handle those figures and ask questions about the respective games, I created a poster and started promotion.

astoreWe had game masters to set up and run demo games for 6 different miniature games including Dystopian Wars, Warhammer 40K, Hell Dorado, X-Wing, Flames of War, and Relic Knights.

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Setting up a table near the front of the store with a variety of examples of miniature wargaming, I included a basic setup for a game of BattleLore which served as a good introductory game to introduce basic concepts of wargaming to interested but inexperienced gamers.

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One of the veteran gamers in my local wargaming community brought in his scratchbuilt table to demonstrate a game of Hell Dorado with 2 sets of beautiful miniatures he has painted over the course of the past year.

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I had time to run a basic naval game of Dystopian Wars using 2 painted fleets of ship models.

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As expected, X-Wing was the most popular game, and we set it up in the back corner so players would pass the other games on display.  Some of the local Flames of War players brought in their tank models to show off.

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We had plenty of walk-in costumers coming in to pick up comic books I invited to try a game, but most passed on the opportunity.  All the same, having the games set up in the store at least triggered some interest and prompted some costumers to at least check out some of the painted miniatures.

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Special thanks to our volunteers–we couldn’t have run so many different miniature games without our experienced game masters.

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Wood Elves Leave the Forest

Glade Lord Arteamus stood in the branches of a chestnut oak at the edge of the forest, gazing out across the field which had been burned the day before by an Orc warband. The Orcs were burning indiscrimately, and a sacred glade just beyond the field had been desecrated by the greenskins. Those standing stones had to be recaptured and restored, blessed by the magic channeled by the senior Spellweaver in the forest.  The goal was clear.

Spellweaver Synclaire stood near the base of the oak when the Glade Lord dropped down from the branches.  She gestured toward him, holding an arrow in her hand.  “I’ve cast powerful magic on the arrows of our Glade Guards,” she explained.  “And this one, in particular, has been enchanted to bring down the Orc chieftain.  I know what must be done, and I am determined to do it myself.  Please, Arteamus, allow me to lead the expedition to recapture the sacred stones.”

He thought for a moment, considering he should lead the force himself, complete with his personal company of Eternal Guards.  But she would need to visit the glade herself, after all–after the battle to drive off the orcs–and she was eager to prove her martial skills and leadership.  She was young, relative for an elf, although she was profoundly talented for magic, especially that of the darkness.  He nodded, indicating she could lead the group herself.

She smiled slightly, bowed, and withdrew from his presence to assemble her martial force.  Although she would only take a small group of skilled archers from the guard, she would call upon the dryads of the forest, along with the restless treekin yearning for a fight against the rampaging orcs, and the old treeman as well.

Photo671The old forest dragon insisted on accompanying Synclaire’s battle contingent, although she only suspected the dragon had been secretly petitioned by Arteamus to join.  She accepted the old dragon’s assistance.  Convinced of inevitable victory, even on the grassy plain beyond the forest, she wouldn’t turn down the help of a dragon, and she knew such rejection would be considered rude.

The force lined up on the edge of the glade, the small Thrones Hill on their right flank.  The scent of roasting pork, mingled with the unwashed flesh of orcs and goblins, drifted across the field.  This was indeed the place.  The elves could see the standing stones–smeared, as they now were, with the excrement of orcs.

“And are those trolls?”  Synclaire closed her eyes and scryed the line of battle opposing them across the glade.  Yes, the force was supported with engines of war as well, and she sent a message to both the dragon and the treeman, warning of the bolts those crude machines could hurl through the air.  The elves were at a disadvantage here, in the open, but she had given her word, and with her magic Synclaire was convinced of victory over the nasty beasts.

Both sides began to close the gap, and the elven archers unleashed a volley of arrows into the ranks of the smelly orcs.  But the dragon was pierced through a shoulder by a heavy metal bolt.  The treeman was also hit, squarely in the chest.  But the force of forest spirits marched onward, the branchwraith leading the dryads easing the pain of the dragon and treeman both with her life magic.

Photo674This was the moment for Synclaire to unleash her most powerful magic, before the battle lines clashed together.  She would decimate the orcish ranks with a dark vortex, reducing their number as well as their will to fight, and they would likely turn and flee before the forest spirits had the chance to strike with branch and root.  Already, on the right flank a band of orc cavalry, mounted on tusked boars, had torn through the skirmishes tasked with securing Thrones Hill, and the orc cavalry was charging the forest dragon.  And, on the left flank, an orc chariot ripped into a band of waywatchers.  Now was the moment, to smash the center, and then her guards could turn to support the flanks with their magic arrows.

Synclaire reached into the heavens, closing her eyes, energy of the earth filling her through the soles of her feet.  She felt the winds of magic stir throughout her being, filling her with power, and she chose to pull in just a little more–but too much!  It was too late, talented as she was, when she ceased gathering magical might, knowing it was above and beyond needed to fuel the spell.  A crack of lightning spread from her body, shattering the bodies of those guards standing to either side of her.  But the spell was indeed cast–but something had gone terribly wrong:  rather than whirling toward the enemy, the dark vortex whirled to the side, directly into and across the front ranks of her guard.  Disaster!  Rather than decimating the ranks of the enemy, her spell and killed most of her guards–near all of them.

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Battle was joined in the center, and the forest spirits fought tenaciously, but the winds of magic had indeed shifted against the elves, perhaps because they had let the orcs desecrate their sacred stones.  The branchwraith was unable to conjure any more healing force for her comrades, and the old treeman fell to the band of black orcs.

Realizing her lethal mistake of magic, knowing the forest spirits would not dominate without elven support–but she had no more support for her elven guards to provide–she turn and fled… trailing sparks from her feet as she fled, wounded in both body and spirit.

Jade Wood Elves

Looking at some of my green dice, I wondered at the precedent for painting the scale armor on my Wood Elves as if they were wearing scale armor made of jade plates.

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I clearly enjoy painting these miniature soldiers with different shades of green–this preference seems to be indicated by the range of different paint pots I’ve acquired in the past Imagefew months.  I have more than a dozen different shades of green acrylic paint, not including some green inks and shades, and I have almost as many yellow paints, but I only have two pots of blue, both of which I’ve only used on painting the bases for naval models (with a dash of green ink, or course, to simulate the greenish/blue ocean waters).  And I found some pictures of museum pieces of Chinese stone armor which may support the concept of jade scale armor in reality, even though I’m talking about a fantasy game here but satisfies my secret, inner historian.

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The regional master miniatures painter known as Shades (you can see some of his work on his awesome blog: http://minimayhem-theblog.blogspot.com/ ) offered some advice on how to achieve the effect of painting jade scales on a figure, and a quick stop by the FLGS this afternoon opened up my options with 3 new paint pots in 3 different shades of green I hadn’t yet procured (now I have a selection of 15).  The first layer of paint is drying on a test figure, more to follow.  In the meantime, I have made some progress with the bases on some Wood Elf infantry and the Sisters of the Thorn.

sisters I suspect the new WE army book out has spurred renewed interest in the faction, so most stock seems to be sold out.  But after a bit of inventory on my shelves, I finally opened a couple boxes of Avalon figures from the Alkemy range.  These figures are human 28mm miniatures, of a medieval theme, but definitely incorporate a sylvan theme as well which is consistent with the story of a human culture tied to ancient magic bonding them to the trees.  The first model I considered was this heroic pose for a glade general, the sort of character leading a company of Eternal Guard headlong into battle against rampaging Orcs & Goblins.  kr_lotharius_face1

And then there is the matter of the forest spirit Treekin.  When I first considered collecting some Wood Elf models, almost 2 years ago, I wasn’t terribly impressed with the Treekin models, but I wondered if I could craft my own using twigs and bark collected from the woods behind our apartments.  Unfortunately, twigs and bark combined with a little hot glue and mounted on a plastic base looks worse than the original Treekin models I was attempting to proxy.  But then yesterday I revisited the idea of proxied Treekin while examining these figures with their arms transformed into entangled tree roots.

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The pictures above are clearly not my work, but beautifully painted figures I found related to the Alkemy game–it’s a great tabletop skirmish game, and I wouldn’t consider using some of these figures on square bases with my Wood Elf army if it wasn’t for the fact I already have 2 other factions already modeled and painted while these were still unopened in their respective boxes.  So it goes.

Painting Thorns

Inspired by some of the painted armies I saw and photographed at the Warhammer Fantasy event last weekend, I’ve been busy assembling and painting Wood Elf figures, including these “Sisters of the Thorn.”

ImageThese took a good deal of both time and patience to assemble, but it was just as well since the entire week of weather has been at least humid if not raining.  Today I finally got them primed, and by happenstance I picked up the plastic base-plate of an 80’s vintage electric typewriter, one which I had pulled apart for parts and components, and I realized it would serve as a platform for spray painting and carrying figures out to the back of the apartment complex where I go to prime models.  It certainly is more rigid and serves better as transport than the sections of corrugated cardboard I usually use.  This is now officially designated as my model priming plate.

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Warhammer Fantasy Culpeper Event

We hosted our first big miniatures event at the new FLGS on Saturday, June 14th.

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Some of the pre-registered players didn’t make it, but we still had 16 players, a great even number of participants for a tournament.  Our Tournament Organizer, Ben, presented a great set of guidelines, everyone was early, and the first round of games started on time by 11 am.  We had started the morning with trouble finding the key and swapping some tables, but I brought coffee and Matt brought donuts from Knackals, so all was destined to turn out.  Unfortunately, I had some other obligations cropping up to limit my participation–not unexpected–but I took as many pictures as I could when I was present.

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There were some great models on the table we hadn’t seen before because we had players driving a couple hours to join us.  And during the lunch break there was a painting contest by peers, and some of the displays looked great.

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And, of course, games were played.

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More Warhammer

Experimenting with some color schemes, I’m close to settling on a final set of colors for my new Wood Elf Fantasy army.  I still need to drybrush with some lighter colors for full effect, but I’m pleased with my palette.  I’m leaning more toward painting each figure’s hair a Celtic red rather than the Nordic blonde.  I’m still on the fence about the TreeMan–I like the contrast between the green and magenta I’m using on the infantry, but I’m tempted so much by my favorite shade of yellow.

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I’ve been helping with some logistics to set up for the first big Warhammer event in the Culpeper FLGS, coming up in just over a week now.  One of the local guys put together a graphic for the event, and another local player is going to help me set up tables in the space the night before.  The store sponsoring the event is not charging entry fees, but they’re putting up some decent prizes–the victor will win entry to the GT at the NOVA Open event coming up in a couple months.  There will also be some door prizes.

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I won’t get the chance to directly participate in the event, due to obligations at work, but I’m glad to help out and hopefully make it a worthwhile experience for the players.  But this coming weekend is packed with a game of Triumph & Treachery with several of my favorite opponents, and then some terrain building, painting, and practice games with the local Fantasy players at the store.