Sunday 25 February 2024

Mark VI Érineach Preservers - completing the squad?

Taking a slight detour from the painting schedule, I added a sixth Mark VI preserver to my beaky marine squad this weekend.  A little background for the rest of the squad was given back in October 2023. Now, a heavy-weapon toting chappie joins the crew as Brother F. I already have a wee tech support asset and a scout sniper and another five 40K 2nd edition scouts that can be scrounged out of the bits box if I ever need to add them.

I'm not sure when they will see action. I have very little interest in what 40K has become over the last 25 years really. Ideally I'd like to use them in an over-sized game of This is Not a Test  at some point, but should the need ever arise, I also now have enough painted marines for a Kill Team.

Saturday 24 February 2024

Devilry Afoot - Unleash the hounds!

This week I have focused on painting up canines for games of Devilry Afoot. To the left we have a companionable dog, loosely based on my own scruffy wee critter. On the right, the fearsome barghest. For scale I have matched them with a Bloody Miniatures pipe-puffing goodman in the photos below.

In Devilry Afoot, dogs are intended to be useful aids to a hunting party, but not necessarily savage war dogs, slabbering to tear monsters limb from limb. Hunting parties are designed to be made up of members of a normal community, not elite monster-hunters belonging to a secret society. They are unlikely to own dogs trained for hunting anything larger than a wolf and so dogs should not be intended to close with a monster. Think of them more as advanced warning systems that help the hunters to locate their monstrous foes. This perky wee fellow is from Magister Militum (now presumably OOP?).

The opposite extreme is the barghest. Sometimes known as Black Shuck, the barghest is a hellhound, summoned from the otherworld to wrack the Devil’s vengeance on man. Known for its giant black dog-like frame, and fiery red eyes, the baying calls of the barghest haunts the moors and boglands, serving as an omen of death and doggedly stalking its prey. Its ghastly appearance and ominous presence evoke a heightened fear matched only be the curse of its bite – the wounds of which are rumoured never to fully heal. The model is from Heresy Miniatures and is a truly hulking beasty.

Wednesday 21 February 2024

Devilry Afoot - How will you wendigo...?

When it came to adding a North American monster to Devilry Afoot's book of monsters, there was only ever one obvious choice; the wendigo. The big question, was how to represent one on the table.

Wendigos, also known as windikouk, atchen and kewok among other names, are cursed, cannibalistic revenants found among the Algonquin nations. Their badly-lived lives have left them tormented in death with a hunger that can never be fulfilled. Although they are able to take on many forms, a wendigo is forever emaciated; standing grotesquely tall, its frame is draped in tattered, frost-covered skin They stalk their human prey consumed with ravenous appetite, however, with each meal their frame grows larger forcing them to hunt and feed again.

The standard wargaming trope is to have a creature with a deer or moose head. While the look is quite iconic, as far as I can tell it seems to be based on a Hollywood manifestation of a wendigo rather than anything coming from traditional beliefs. 

Wanting to be as 17th century accurate as I could be, I opted for this oversized ghoul from Heresy Miniatures. Admittedly he doesn't look huge next to the Bloody Miniatures figure in the top picture, but Bloody Miniatures are big boys themselves. He should probably be bigger and more rangy; maybe he hasn't been feeding much recently? The feral pointed years and sinewy body go some way to fitting the bill though.

I tried to paint him as sympathetically as possible, with a warmer than usual skin tone (a curious choice for a frozen wendigo?), Algonquin inspired warpaint, and scraps of buckskin clothing. Presumably he's wielding a moose femur as a war club, because that bone is massive!

Monday 19 February 2024

Fantastic Battles 28mm - Alexandrian Macedonians vs the Bacchae

Taking the my 28mm Bacchae out to stretch their legs, I headed down to Lisburn Gaming Club last week to take on Roger's 28mm Alexandrian Macedonians in a pseudo-historical clash of (metaphorical) giants!

In a typically Alexander move, Alexander (top of the picture) massed his cavalry on his right and took command of one of the units of elite companions himself. The second unit, led by a captain, were overly enthusiastic and deployed far forward of the rest of their lines. A unit of Thracians led by a rogue were late, deploying behind the wood, while the main phalanx also deployed a little forward. The hypaspists on the Macedonian left, and the various small units of archers interspersed around the infantry (mostly) maintained their lines.

Dionysos had an easier time with mishaps; only the nymphs were stricken with disease. On the Bacchic left, a unit of leopards were deployed slightly forward in ambush in the woods. Next came an elephant in front of the yakshi maiden guard, a horde of satyrs, and a smaller unit of centaurs led by Papa Silenos. The nymphs (a magic using character company) held the woods in the centre, while maenads led by Pan and the erotes chariots led by Eros held the Bacchic right. 

As the battle opened, the enthusiastic companions continued to move forward, putting themselves in the live of fire for the mixed shooting unit of satyrs and the centaurs, both of whom peppered them with arrows. The centaurs moved forward to get into a better position and the yakshi maiden guard started to redeploy around to the right of the satyrs. The nymphs in the centre moved forward towards the edge of their woods as the fearsome Macedonian phalanx advanced. 

On the other flank, both forces advanced cautiously.

Over on the left, Dionysos cast confusion on Alexander and his companions, forcing them to rush forwards into the leopards. I made two crucial mistakes at this point: 1) I had brought the leopards too far forward meaning that the companions were not inside the woods enough to suffer melee penalties, and 2) I forgot that the companion movement should have been reduced by the woods to such an extent that they shouldn't have actually completed their charge at all... These two points were to have implications. Having committed to the melee regardless,  Alexander was then charged in the flank by the Bacchic elephant.

The other unit of companions also charged forward with a thud into the satyrs, while the Macedonian light horse hit them in the flank.

In the centre, the nymphs cast entangle on the phalanx, pinning it and the two attached characters into place.

Meanwhile, the maenads and hypaspists sized each other up, while Cretan archers made themselves felt by the erote goat chariots.

Having messed up with the leopards, they broke and scattered after a single round of melee, allowing the companions to turn to face the elephant alone - not theat it did them much good, scattering soon afterwards and carrying a mortally wounded Alexander from the field. The centaurs came to the aid of the satyrs as the Thracians emerged from the long walk through the woods. The nymphs continued to pin the phalanx with entangle spells.

The maenads clashed with the the Macedonian hypaspists and a single unit of impetuous archers who were in-turn charged by the chariots.

With most of the Bacchic army committed, the battle hung in the balance... but a really badly weighted balance.

In one go, the second unit of companions and the Macedonian light horse, together with the satyr horde and elephants all broke and fled. Dionysos was suddenly conspicuously lonely. 

The army breakpoints now sat 9/10 for the Bacchae, and 6/10 for the Macedonians.  

Sadly, despite their thyrsoi heavy weapons, the maenads were no match for the hypaspists, and the broke and fled, as did the archers before the chariots. 

But it was enough to break the Dionysiac army (13/10), without quite breaking the mundane Macedonians (7/10). It was a fun game, even though I did mess up with the leopards, bringing the Baccahe to their first defeat.