Monday 27 September 2021

The Red King

I didn't mean for it to happen, I really didn't, but this guy jumped the painting queue. Introducing, the red King, the warlord for my forthcoming Fantastic Battles 10mm Beastfolk army (along with his newt standard bearer). 

These are from the Warploque 10mm Beastfolk range which has been released as .stl files. I placed a small sample order via Etsy with SmallScalePrints who are licensed to print them (along with various other ranges). 

My first time painting tartan and I tried it at this scale. What madness! The design is inspired by the local Co. Antrim tartan - but simplified obviously...

Saturday 25 September 2021

This is Not a Test - Tanks for Nothing

In what really I hope will be the beginning of a much larger occasional campaign, Andrew introduced me to This is Not a Test from World's End Publishing this week. We played the suggested introductory scenario, Tanks for Nothing, where two warbands fight for control of a (comparatively) clean water source. I hope you'll agree that Andrew has really outdone himself with the post-apocalyptic shanty town!

My peace-keeper warband consisted of a squad from the Flores Minor Ranger Corp: Doc (Warden), Hotshot (Outrider), Heavy (Tactical), Snake Eyes and Point (Officers), led by Sarge (Marshal).

Andrew's muties (beings of unique features?) were led by an escaped slave girl with psychic powers, and included a chap with a co-joined twin, a two headed one with a flame thrower, a huge brute, a huge brutish dog, ghoulie, a chap with a huge hand, and a guy in a hat...

Hotshot, my outrider with a sniper rifle deployed on the roof of the building on the left from where he opened fire from the start of turn one. The other snipers in the squad, Doc and Sarge also took up firing positions quickly and let loose on any mutants coming around past the bus (sort of left of centre top of the photo).

Meanwhile, Snake Eyes and Point made a dash for the water tank. Heavy ran forward and leaped onto the car bonnet, aimed his mini-gun and immediately jammed it. He would spend the rest of the match trying to clear the jams. The brute and brute-dog, tired of being shot at, charged into my boys, just as the psychic started messing with their heads.  Doc was taken out by shooting, Snake Eyes was mauled by the dog, Point and Heavy ended up legging it with the pyschic tapping into their past traumas. At that point, Sarge decided that discretion was called for and he and Hotshot pulled out too.

In the post game sequence, the FMRC got far and away the better results. Doc was banged up and so will suffer negative modifiers next game, but everyone else was fine. I also rescued and adopted three wastland critters (species as yet undetermined). Several of the muties were injured in various ways - the hat-guy sniper took a brain injury leaving him frenzied... That will prove interesting in the future. 

It was a first game for me, and the first in a few years for Andrew so there was a bit of rule-searching, but the game still flowed really well and was really enjoyable. I'm looking forward to continuing the campaign.

Saturday 4 September 2021


To celebrate the 500th member joining the Fantastic Battles Facebook group, we asked members to share their 500 point armies. I am, as ever, blown away by the support that the group always offers up and am delighted to show off the mini army showcases below. 

The plan is for my good wife (and far-and-away my better half) to decide on a favourite army that will then get illustrated by Orestix as a vignette in the style of the rules.

Eduardo's undead army of the Red Duke
Here is my 499 list: The undead army of the Red Duke.
  • The Red Duke - Vampire Warlord with the Wicked Blade of Piercing (68)
  • Renar the Necromancer - Magic-user (40)
  • Lord Falk, the Dark Knight - Captain (25)
  • Doomed knights - Mounted Elite company (47)
  • Skeleton riders - Mounted Formed company (42)
  • 2x Skeleton warriors - Formed company (66)
  • Ghouls - Irregular company (27)
  • 2x Wolf packs - Fantastic beast (76)
  • Banshees - Formed company (44)
  • 2x Bat swarms - Irregular company (64)
Profiles taken from The Undead example army list, replacing the Mage-Lord with a Warlord
Hope you like it!

Pete's Samurai Fantasy

Lulu's Legion of Sauron
Finished painting the first members of Sauron’s new 10mm legion and I’ve managed to wrangle it into a workable if unbalanced and ineffective 500 point list!
Okay, it comes in at 501 points, I could drop a base of the skirmishers for some relics and suchlike, but I wanted to include all the models I’ve just finished.
  • Witch King of Angmar - Mage lord with curse and magic missiles.
  • 2 orc captains, lieutenants of Morgul
  • 4 Orc horde - irregular company, unreliable, rabble, expendable
  • 8 Orc bows - irregular company, shooting, skirmishers
  • Fell beast - dragon, giant, passenger, flying

Mike's Orcs
Orcs have always been my favourite fantasy army, and I was an Orc addict long before Peter Jackson reverted to the 1960’s Doctor Who-esque principle of putting a man in a rubber face mask to represent the evil creatures and a long age before Games Workshop introduced its lantern jawed, big eared greeny. Tolkien’s novels were my introduction to this universal bad guy, the fleeting glimpses and vague descriptions intrigued me and I have long sought to represent these clumsy, cunning, tricksy, treacherous, deceitful yet somehow endearing menaces on the wargames table.

Firstly, 500 points is far too small a force to do the Orcs justice! They need a sprawling mass of at least 800 points to represent all their different arms and do not look anything like complete until you have 1000 points or more to play with.

But here goes! This is based on a conglomerate from my recent Margana campaign and is led by Noblig the Grate, the most successful of the various war chiefs from the campaign.
Shatrag was the captain that survived most battles so he is in and he has a great name!
The Orc Berserkers are the mainstay of this force, despite having a Resolve of only 3, this berserk unit with its heavy melee weapons and furious charge won scrap after scrap.
The Trolls are the big hitters of the Horde as they proved from the very first battle, at 500 points I can only include two of them.

No Orc horde can be complete without the Wolf riders, combining speed, manoeuvrability, fire power and possessing a mean charge, these guys are great value for money. Ideally the Horde should have two units, one on each flank. These are the notorious Horror Head band.
The Snagas proved to be surprisingly effective during the campaign, possibly because I held them back due to their poor stats and so they were often intact at the key end stages of battles. They would be improved by an upgrade to shooting but they are Orc Snagas and so that wouldn’t really fit my concept of them as cheap, poor quality, raggedy arsed ne’er do wells.

Talking of cheap raggedy arsed ne’er do wells, the Rabble, are my favourite FB creation and at 15 points per company should be part of every Orc army. Unreliable, expendable, rabble. Their traits sound like a bad reference or my school reports! At 500 points I can only field 3 companies of them, they do best in a couple of units of three to four companies when they can mob their opponents and hopefully find an exposed flank.

I have enjoyed playing Fantastic Battles so much that I am considering getting a 6/10 or 15mm version so I can get the Mass Battle feelies from my favourite bad guys!

Ian's Bastard Sons of the most Black'ed Crow
I'll chuck this lot in for the ay challenge if I may?.
Meet the Bastard Sons of the most Black'ed Crow, the most vicious gang of horse riding cannibal inbreds the wastelands have to offer. Be it caravan, homestead or outpost, nowhere is safe from these hairy buggers!.
The army comprises of:
  • Ol' Papa Crow (warlord)
  • The Black weasel (a wasteland scout and turncoat)
  • Uncle 'Big Bear' Crow, (both captains)
  • 2x Guard companys (elite,furious charge, drilled, mixed shooting)
  • 4x hunter companies (irregular, drilled, mixed shooting)
  • 3x archer companies (irregular, skirmishers, shooting)
  • 1x wasteland eagle company (irregular, fly,fast),
All troops have the racial trope mounted (except the Eagles), they also popularized wearing jeans.
Total 511 points (oops!)

Michael's Grey Aliens
Here is my 493 pts worth
Grey Aliens 493 pts
Strategy – Night March (Greys are sneaky)
Army Trait – Ephemeral (Elusive little blighters)
  • Warlord (Mayjurr)
  • 2x Captains (Erhl & Dorhrean)
  • 1 x Magic User (Science Team) with Blink Level 2 and Confusion Level 1
  • 4 x Soldiers - Irregular company – Ephemeral, Thrown Weapons (Ray Guns), Militia (Weak & Puny), Skirmishers
  • 2 x Disc Riders – Irregular Company – Ephemeral, Thrown Weapons (Ray Guns), Fast, Skirmishers
  • 1 x Flying Saucer – Vehicle – Ephemeral, Flying, Shooting (Death Ray)
  • 1 x Greytbyg – Fantastic Beast – Heavy Melee Weapon (Nasty Claws), Regenerate, Giant.

Steve's Chaos Demons
Chaos Demons 501pts
  • Mage Lord (The Little Red Guy) - Level 3 Haste - 75pts
  • Captain (Carrying the Scrolls) - 25pts
  • 9 x Demon Horde in units of 3 Irregular Company (Berserk, Monsterous) - 37pts each
  • 2 x Vomiting Red Meanies in single units
  • Fantastic Beasts (Barrage) - 34pts each

Amber's High Elves
Here is my High Elf 500 (499) point army. These are all my old Warhammer models that I put on 40mm bases that I borrow from my brother when we play. The Phoenix's clear stands are currently broken off due to moving not too long ago. The army racial is Fast.
  • Prince x 1 (Warlord)
  • Noble x 2 (Captain)
  • Archers x 1 (Formed Company - Fast, Drilled, Shooting (skilled))
  • White Lions x 2 (Formed Company - Fast, Drilled, Foresters, Heavy Melee Weapons)
  • Dragon Princes x 2 (Elite Company - Fast, Drilled, Mounted, Proud)
  • Phoenix x 2 (Fantastic Beast - Flying, Monstrous, Furious Charge)
  • Bolt Thrower x 1 - (Ordnance Battery - Fast, Artillery, Powerful Missile Weapons, Shooting (skilled))

Jeffrey's Hobgoblins
  • Warlord company trait w
  • 4 x formed shieldwall
  • 4 x Ogres elite infantry regenerate and hvy weapon
  • 2 x Bolt throwers
  • 2x formed infantry, long spears and shooting
  • Captain with martyrs ring

Stuart's Fey
Far to the north of Aelgard dwell the Fey, dark elves with ice in their veins.
Leading this 500 point force is the Fey Witch King Riangabor the Cruel, riding his great snow tiger...
  • Fey Elf Witch King, the Shadowy Cloak of Stealth, Magic Missile 1, Curse 2.
  • Fey Elf Captain Dechrind Gut Ripper,
  • Fey Elf Assassin/Rogue, Crasterlon Blackheart
  • 2x Fey Elf Tiger Lancer elite companies, fast, mounted, furious charge
  • 1x Fey Elf Mounted Crossbow, formed company, fast, mounted, shooting
  • 3x Fey Elf Spearmen, formed company, fast, long spears
  • 2x Fey Elf Archers, formed company, fast, shooting/skilled
  • 1x snow troll, irregular company, monster, regenerate, thrown weapons.

Christofer's Orcs
To join the competition, here is my 500 pts orc army.
  • Warlord (his name is Grakka!)
  • Magic user (lvl 2 empower, lvl1 haste)
  • 2x captains
  • Wyvern (dragon: flying, poison, passenger)
  • Red dragon (dragon: flying, heavy melee weapons, barrage)
  • 4x Uruk hais (formed company: heavy melee weapons, berserk, drilled)
  • 3x goblin archers (irregulars: unreliable, shooting, foresters)
Total 497pts

Chris's army of Dol Amroth
Here's my competition entry, the formidable army of Dol Amroth!
Here's the list:
  • Prince Imrahil: Warlord, Haughty Helm of Reassurance (look at that crest!) - 37 pts
  • Hamandil: Captain, Billowing Banner of Encouragement - 43 pts
  • Knights of Dol Amroth: Elite Company, Reliable, Mounted, Furious Charge, Doughty - 2 companies, 108 pts
  • Foot of Dol Amroth: Formed Company, Reliable, Shieldwall, Long Spears, Shooting (mixed) - 3 companies, 141 pts
  • Militia from Pinnath Gellin: Formed Company, Reliable, Militia, Shieldwall - 2 companies, 86 pts
  • Light infantry from Anfalas: Irregular Company, Reliable, Thrown Weapons - 2 companies, 58 pts
  • Archers from Morthond Vale: Irregular Company, Reliable, Shooting (skilled), skirmishers - 1 company, 36 pts
Trope for all units: Reliable
Stratagems: none

Generally, the idea for the army is to have the Dol Amroth foot in the center, able to hold the line and also throw out some shooting dice. Very much a combined arms infantry unit. The Militia are simply supposed to held on with shieldwall and not die. The light infantry and Morthond Vale archers protect the flanks. Altogether, they should be able to pin the enemy army in place for just long enough for Prince Imrahil and his Winged Hussars (erm, I mean Knights, of course) to charge in and smash the enemy force to bits. The general painting scheme for the army is blue, white and grey for the Dol Amroth units, and blue and green for their allies.

Roger's Wood Elves
My 498pts
Army strategy - Agents
Racial - Foresters
  • Warlord with Lions Roar Talisman 68pts
  • Capt with Blade of Unsurpassable Power 30 pts
  • 3x Gladeguard Spears (formed company, foresters, fast, longspear, shieldwall) 132pts
  • 3x Gladeguard Archers (formed company, foresters, shooting) 117pts
  • 3x Wardancers (elite company, foresters, fast, furious charge, stimulants) 141pts

Neil's Undead
498 point undead using the army list in the rulebook
  • Liche King: bless level 1, haste level 2
  • Necromancer: summon level 3
  • Skeleton warriors formed company, 4 bases
  • Skeleton archers formed company, 2 bases
  • Skeleton guard elite company, 1 base
  • Undead catapult ordance battery, 2 bases
  • Undead giant vehicle, 1 base

James's Beasts of Chaos
Here is my 500pts Beasts of Chaos Army:
  • 1 Warlord 60pts
  • 1 Shaman 40pts
  • 1 Captain 25pts
  • 4 Minotaurs Irregular Company Monstrous Fast 35pts each 140pts
  • 3 Centaur Raiders Irregular Company Mounted Furious Charge 33pts each 99pts
  • 4 Centaur Archers Irregular Company Mounted Shooting(Mixed) 34pts each 136pts
All are Pendraken 10mm

Tyler's Lizard Army

Still working on getting it all painted, but here is my army troop.
Lizard Army: 499 Points
Trait: Regenerate
  • Dino-Lord (Dragon) - Regenerate, Character (Warlord), Giant, Shooting
  • Death Rider (Fantastic Beast) -Regenerate, Character (Captain), Monstrous, Mounted
  • Battle Captain (Captain)
  • Head-hunter (Rouge)
  • Temple Spearmen (Elite Company) x 2 - Regenerate, Doughty, Long spears
  • Javelin Warriors (Irregular Company) x 2 - Regenerate, Amphibious, Barrage
  • Jungle Hunters (Irregular Company) x 2 - Regenerate, Amphibious, Shooting, Skirmishers

Peter's Fantastic Samurai
I'm still trying to find an opponent but here is my first 500 point army - Fantastic Samurai.
  • Warlord. Mounted
  • Fox Wizard, Confuse2, Bless1
  • 2xSamurai Cavalry. Mounted, Proud
  • Kamikaze, the Divine Wind. Monstrous, Regenerate
  • 3xSamurai. Proud, Mixed Shooting.
  • 2xMonks. Fast, Heavy Melee
  • 2xAshigaru. Spears, Reliable
Total 500

Paul's Undead
499 pts of undead
  • Mage lord
  • 2 vampire captains
  • Group of skeleton cavalry
  • Group of skeleton spearmen
  • Company of ghosts
  • Company of ghouls
  • Company of zombies

Jim's (late to the party) Orcs
Bigga Zod and his 500
  • Warlord. Bigga Zod. 60pts
  • Orc Shaman. Wizzy Zod. 40pts
  • Rogue Orc. Mancloaked Zod. 25pts
  • Giant. Blüdi Bigg Git. 50pts
  • Elite Company. Bigga Zod’s Bashboyz. 322pts
For a modest 497 points An Orc army that may not conquer the world but will leave crops ruined and cattle half eaten!

(NB This is a late entry as I thought it was 4pm submission deadline. I got a 6 on my mishaps roll! Happy enough to be disqualified as a non-starter. But I have had these boys for 40 years and spent the last few days rebasing and tarting them up! I think they deserve to at least be seen loitering around the baseline even if they’re not actually involved )

Wednesday 1 September 2021

ProjectBACCHAE - where else can you find an erote riding an elephant?

Back in July I showed my yakshi Maiden Guard, a hypothetical legacy of Dionysos' mythological conquest of India. This lovely nellie marks a much better represented Indian element to my Dionysiac triumph. Elephants became a symbolic of Indian conquests from the reign of Alexander the Great, and appear quite frequently in Hellenistic and Roman art in conjunction with Dionysos. The images below are particularly nice examples (even if the elephants appear to be from the wrong continent...).

The 28mm elephant itself is from Aventine Miniatures and is a lovely resin piece with metal tusks and tail. The erote mahout is from Maurauder Miniatures (with legs reposed), and the additional yakshi is from Thistle and Rose Miniatures.

Roman mosaic from Museum of Setif, Algeria.

2nd century AD sarcophagus in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Here the elephants draw Dionysos in a biga, but are ridden by erotes.

2nd century AD sarcophagus in the Walters Art Museum. I suspect the mahouts of these elephants are supposed to be satyrs.

I would have liked to paint a Hellenistic tapestry-style saddlecloth for the elephant, but knew I would never manage anything half so elaborate. Instead I opted for a simple palmette design and a single scene. The left hand side shows Dionysos riding a leopard, based on the famous Pella mosaic (below). The right side is a free-thinking amalgamation of different dancing maenads and Eros from a variety of frescos and sculptures.

4th century BC mosaic from Pella, Macedonia.