Thursday, 2 July 2020

Fantastic Battles army showcase - Halflings of Hearthshire

With playtesting now in full swing, I thought it was time to showcase another 1,000 point army for Fantastic Battles: the halflings of Hearthshire. The previous goblin army showcase can be found HERE.

From the Shire to the Moot, I have always had a soft spot for the wee folk. It was the start of this 10mm halfling army - a gift from my good friend JB - that drew me back to fantasy gaming after a hiatus of ... rather a number of years; you've a lot to answer for JB. This army combines ranges from Eureka Miniatures, Magister Militum, Pendraken and Alternative Armies.

The halflings of Hearthshire are a peaceable and earnest folk. Settled in a quiet land of agricultural small-holdings nestled between low rolling hills, they are slow to anger, but stout in the defence of their homes. To represent their less than martial nature, the 'militia' trait (-1 to a company's basic Melee factor) has been adopted as a racial trope.

The army consists of five characters and 23 companies which I usually field in 11 units.  

From left to right: Mr Hotspur, Sheriff of Hearthshire, serves as Hearthshire's Warlord and is carried into battle on a ceremonial shield; the two Captains, Puck Goodfellow and Captain Fishwick; the Magic-user, Barmbrack Hamfist riding a giant guinea pig; and the Rogue, Rosie Foxglove. As a halfling wizard, Barmbrack uses buffing rather than destructive spells.

Mounted on stout ponies, the Hearthshire Yeomanry are the closest Hearthshire gets to heavy cavalry. As a small unit with good Resolve and decent speed, they can be used to support the flanks of the main halfling battle line, or swing around to harry the flanks of enemy units. 

Riding on the backs of geese, the poultry scouts lack the Resolve or Melee capacity to make good front line troops but can be useful to take and hold terrain features.

The Hearthguard of Hearthshire are the most resilient infantry unit among the halflings. Armed with long spears, they are at their best when receiving charges or fighting against larger foes.

Halfling militia archers are eminently capable shooting troops, however lacking they may be when it comes to melee skills. 

The halfling kitchen militia feed the army on the march, but also muster as a stout, if ineffective, fighting unit. With ready access to the kitchen stores, they have the ability to regenerate any Resolve lost through the course of a battle.

When not foraging for supplies, the truffle-hunters are able to deliver a disruptive blow against any unit they charge. They do, however, lack Resolve, so their attack must be well timed.

Watching from the woods and other rough terrain features, what the halfling wardens lack in martial prowess, they make up for with their skill as archers and skirmishers.

The treefolk of Wyldwood provide much needed close-combat support to the Hearthshire muster. Their ability to move easily through wooded terrain is also a major boon to any halfling army.

What better monster than a cockatrice to support an army of wee farmers?!

The Hearthshire Academy Mathematics Society produces a small but able body of engineers to man small artillery pieces. With the ability to lob large stones other the heads of intervening troops, Hearthshire catapult batteries are often deployed in support of the Hearthshire army.

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

10mm Ziggurat Dwarf shield-bearers

More 10mm dwarves from Cibo's Little Dudes, this time a unit of three companies of shield-bearers (and a captain).

Monday, 29 June 2020

Fantastic Battles - playtesting steps up as restrictions ease

As the Covid-19 pandemic eases here in Ulster, we are now allowed to meet in small groups, inside, for the first time in over three months. The obvious way to celebrate was to play with toy soldiers. In person! Four brave souls met for a live playtest of Fantastic Battles, pitching the goblins of the Wyvern Hills against the Vermintide.

The bowl of dice is substituting for a bag of counters to randomise initiative during the Action phase of each turn. There is one coloured counter/die per character, plus one for impetuous units. As each coloured counter is drawn from the bag, the respective players activate a character and any units they are able to command.

The Great Goblin is engaged by the Great Rat in what was to be come the turning point in the battle.

Before he can rush to the aid of the goblin warlord, the hill giant is charged by a furiously propelled rat wheel. The goblin warlord fell (and was eaten) by the Great Rat, and the gobin army fell apart shortly afterwards.  

Sunday, 28 June 2020

A whole new world - Starting on 10mm Ziggurat Dwarves

Dodging the the judgmental stares of the unpainted 6mm Austrians sitting on the shelf, I made a start on a new 10mm army this weekend. My 'Ziggurat Dwarves' are based on the evil dwarf range from Cibo's Little Dudes with a few modifications.

The company of flying carpet uses a couple of dwarf magic-users mounted on greenstuff carpets. They will provide some mobile shooting support to what will, on the whole, be a slow melee-based army.  

The djinn is from Cibo's desert empire range. Like all of Cibo's stuff he's full of character, but this chap seemed very unstable when I went to base it. I adapted the figure a little, removing the lamp and shifting it to the side, then adding more magical bubbles around the base to give it a bit more stability.