Friday 28 June 2024

Warp Miniatures Kobold Spears

I've now finished up the first three Warp Miniatures kobolds that I got from BS5 Beyond Games. I absolutely love these little guys who fall somewhere between goblins and puppies (two of my favourite things)! 

I want to give another shout out to BS5 Beyond Games. They're only a small outfit, but their service was exemplary and the quality of the 3D prints second to none. As I mentioned earlier, they've also created a special discount code for readers of the Irregular Wars blog. If you check out their site and find anything that takes your fancy, use the code IWFB20 at checkout to get 20% off your order.

Sunday 23 June 2024

10mm Fantastic Battles - The Green Terror

Skrotrot the goblin king took his lads for another long overdue outing this week, facing off with the army of the Byzernian Empire - a combination of well equipped formed infantry and cavalry, supported by whisky-infused, axe-wielding weirdy beardies. The game was Fantastic Battles, the scale was 10mm, the stakes were high, and the tension was real.

As the attacker, my goblins elected to come on from the side where a large water feature constricted the battlefield by about 1/3. This allowed me to line up the bulk of the forces with a secure right flank, retaining a captain with two units of wolf-riders and a battle wagon off-table on a flank-march around the left.

Jim's Byzernians deployed with a solid centre - cataphract heavy cavalry flanked by shieldwall/long spear formed infantry (none of which looked appetising for my squishy irregular army. On the Byzernian flanks were wild irregulars and skirmishing cavalry, while the galloping flame-thrower war-machines filled the gap between the woods and the hill.

Rolling for pre-battle mishaps, my ogre mercenaries were a little late and one giant was suffering from disease, while one Byzernian heavy unit and his skirmishing kern were both slightly enthusiastic. The kern's stimulants left them proud and berserk, while the goblin madcap unit turned out to be completely uncontrollable thanks to the mushroom-eating, toad licking lifestyle.

As the battle opened, the Byzernian light cavalry began a sweeping progress around the woods, while elsewhere the lines started to close. The ogres moved slowly, creating a gap in the goblin line.

In the woods, the drunken kern and goblin spider-riders exchanged throwing weapons, each causing a worrying two Resolve loss. The Byzernian rogue leading the kern escaped any harm, but a lucky javelin killed the goblin captain outright, leaving the spider-riders leaderless and vulnerable.

In the following turn the spider-riders impetuously turned tail and started to retreat and only the use of the goblin shaman's hast spell managed to turn them back to face the kern before they were charged in the rear. And that haste spell was really needed to get the ogres moving faster.

As the lines continued to move in towards the centre of the battlefield, the goblin flank march arrived on the table. Having made their way right around to the rear of the Byzernians, they burst forward towards the rear of the flamethrowers. 

As the ogres struggled to catch up, the Byzernian priest blinked the cataphracts forward. They were aimed at the madcaps, but overshot the target and ended up in combat with the ogres.

A round of melee in the woods saw the spider-riders scatter, while the kern were only kept in play by the presence of their rogue. The cataphracts gave the ogres a mauling, while the flame-throwers badly scorched the trolls facing them before the trolls had a chance to close.

In the centre, the various units began to form a swirly scrum. To the left the Byzernian kern started to wheel into position to threaten the goblin left, while to the right, the massed horde of goblin warriors burst out of the shelter of the water feature to charge and completely overwhelm the Byzernian unit facing them.

As the trolls closed with the flame-throwers, they were joined by the goblin shaman and his unit of bat-riders. It was a quick melee. 

To the rear, the Byzernian archangel tried to halt the wolf-riders but was himself hit in the flank by the goblin battle wagon and was quickly driven from this earthly dimension.

Being a sneaky blighter, my goblin rogue leapt away from the trolls to take an ineffectual stab at the human emperor. He quickly realised that the odds weren't quite as overwhelmingly in his favour as he thought, and soon ran off to join the trolls again. 

The wolfriders reformed to hold off the Byzernian mounted skirmishers (returning around the woods) , while the large goblin horde struggled to make their way back towards the battle after driving off their opponents. This was made especially hard then the unit was blinked into the water feature.

Now everything hinged on the scrum in the centre. It was perhaps the most scrummy scrum in the history of the game with most units in combat with multiple foes to front, flank and/or rear. Skrotrot and the emperor both threw themselves into the melee. Skrotrot's wyvern proving more effective than the emperor's unaccompanied foolhardy charge into the rear of the bat-riders.

But in the end, the weight of goblin numbers was too much for the Byzernians. As units started to falter, and then scatter, the scrum collapsed leaving, for the Byzernians, only a single infantry unit standing. Despite the distant presence of the Byzernian skirmishing cavalry, it was all too much and the battle was over. 

In the end the goblins lost 8 companies against a breakpoint of 12, while Byzernia lost 13 against a breakpoint of 10, so a good result for the boys in green, although certainly not a one-sided affair.

Saturday 22 June 2024

Song of Shadows and Dust: Hot Season at Pattayavium

“Canes dementes et Coloni in meridie sol exeunt” in the words of the popular ballad. It’s the hottest hot season in living memory. This episode of Song of Shadows & Dust from the Graeco-Roman outpost of Pattayavium follows three potentially-interrelated narratives of inhabitants doing stuff they might not normally do. People are going troppo. 

Here’s an overall view of the part of town known as the Suburra, looking N from the Temple of Europa (E end) to the insula commonly called the White Elephant (W end).

Here are buzzards-eye views of various parts of the Suburra. Coloured dice identify the locations of interest.

Levi, the Jewish rabbi at Pattayavium, wants to stop the activities of a newly opened pork market near his residence (which is also the synagogue for his tiny congregation). The market is identified by White 1.

Pattayavium’s red-light district is another scene of tension. A newly opened brothel is proving too popular for the longer-established premises. Something must be done. The offending brothel - the Dolphin - is identified by Blue 1. The rest of the Red Light District is shown by Blue 6.

The town authorities seem unable to stop drunk citizens from overturning the urine collection jars helpfully positioned at points of need. Malodoros the Tanner, who makes use of the product, is running short and decides to take matters into his own hands. The jars are identified by Yellow 1-4.


The sun is setting on Pattayavium after another sweltering day. Work has generally ceased, shops have closed, and the inhabitants try to relax, and maybe take a stroll, in the still-too-warm evening air. There’s a sea breeze, which helps. But in a few places away from public gaze small groups of folks are meeting with nefarious intent …

Levi and a couple of hard men from his congregation are finalising their plan to cleanse the area of the pork market abomination.

The lessees of most of the brothels are meeting to discuss how to encourage the Dolphin to play the game by the proper rules.

Malodoros is briefing Brasidas and his crew of hired thugs to stake out the urine jars and prevent more leakage. Plausibly deniable violence will send a clear message.

And, with no more nefarious intent than maybe a few “free” drinks and sandwiches from “grateful” property owners, the night patrol of the Guards leaves the barracks to start their shift.


It’s much later at night now, probably after midnight. The only people abroad at this hour are the Watch (nightly guard patrol) a few Watchmen (at the kilns, and the nearby pig market) and of course the Red Light District (RLD) which sleeps during the day. 

In the photo above I’ve identified each protagonist group with a red dice, mainly so I don’t forget to activate them all each time. 

Turn 1
It’s time for the various groups to get moving. The guards (red 1) move along the Main Street past the villa of the Sulpicii. A couple of elite citizens (men of course, any woman abroad at this hour must be a harlot) and their bodyguards are nearby, apparently heading for a night of relaxation at the new Dolphin gentlemen’s club. 

Across the road, in an alley, the Jewish zealots (red 4) are moving out to attack the pig market. They have seen the patrol but figure it’ll be more focussed on the RLD, and neglect their poorer neighbourhood. The market Watchman sees them approaching and realises he’s badly outnumbered.

Still further along, a couple of sneaky characters (red 5) carrying some sacks are heading down another alley towards the Main Street. What are they up to?

Across the road near the busy RLD, Brasidas has deployed his men in two groups (red 2 & 3) to watch a couple of the urine jars. His theory is the patrons of the brothels are more likely to cause trouble than people using the jars on the “quieter” side of town.

Turn 2
Victor and the Guard patrol continue to move along the Main Street. The Jewish zealots warn the Pig Market watchman to keep his mouth shut and run away, or it will be worse for him. However he decides to stand, and starts shouting for help. The Watchman at the Kilns hears the call, and moves towards the fracas. 

The two mysterious sneaks with their sacks move to the alley corner, spot the Guard patrol, and fade back into the shadows. They can also see the ‘situation’ developing at the Pig Market but aren’t going to interfere.

Across the road the rich clients are almost at the door of the Dolphin, but nothing else has changed so no photo.

Turn 3
The Watchman from the Kilns has a whistle, and starts blowing it as he moves towards his colleague defending the Pig Market. The Guard patrol hears this and cautiously turns down the alley to investigate. Between the zealots and the Watchmen, it’s on for young and old. The zealots quickly KD then kill the Pig Market Watchman, upon which the Kiln Watchman gets cold feet.

Meanwhile our two sneaks take their opportunity move out onto the Main Street, trying to look innocent.

Across the street the rich elite citizens have gone inside the Dolphin and order their bodyguards to wait outside. Otherwise, still nothing,

Turn 4
This time, we start across the road, where so far nothing much has happened. The two bodyguards (now identified by red 6) decide to relieve themselves into the urine pot* nearby, which is being surveilled by Brasidas and two of his men, Luke and Evander (red 3). A quarrel breaks out. 

* This makes me think the bodyguards have decided to pick a fight. Normally they would relieve themselves against the nearest wall. The collection jars are mainly for receiving overnight household production.

The sneaks see all this and can hardly believe their luck. First the Patrol has been distracted by the alarm at the Pig Market. Now the security goons have been distracted by the aggro bodyguards. They get moving as fast as possible compatible with there being nothing to see here, and end up in the alley behind the Dolphin.

Back in the poorer neighbourhood, the Guards finally get moving and arrive at the scene of the ‘orrible murder, catching the culprits red handed. Levi does the talking, but his explanation that he and his men were there “quite by chance” cuts no ice with Guards officer Victor. They are disarmed and restrained. The market owners emerge from a nearby building, and the Kiln Watchman also steps forwards now it is safe.

Turn 5
The Guard patrol will need to take their prisoners back to the barracks and lock them up until they can be interrogated tomorrow. Probably Levi himself will wriggle out of the situation, but at least one of his henchmen is sure to face execution for this crime.

Back in the RLD the two bodyguards (red 6)  fight Luke and Evander (red 3), as Brasidas steps back and whistles up his other picket (red 2) which is nearby. But for some reason they don’t move. Maybe they cannot see or hear Brasidas.

One bodyguard is KD, the other is recoiled. The KD bodyguard scrambles to his feet but is killed by Luke while he’s still recovering. 

Round the back of the Dolphin, the sneaks (red 5) are fumbling with their sacks, doubtless getting ready to make an audacious attack.

Turn 6
The sneaks move around to the side of the Dolphin, where there is a ground floor window. They throw two untied sacks inside, containing (it was later reported) a hornets nest and a collection of serpents (mainly cobras). This should be fun, but they won’t have time to stick around and enjoy it. 

The fight against between Brasidas’s men and the remaining bodyguard is short. He is KD and killed by Luke and Evander. Brasidas’s other picket finally responds, and moves towards him. Brasidas can see the bodyguards are dead. Even though it was self defence the bodyguards were servants of powerful citizens, so, not good. Better everyone moves as fast as possible, somewhere else. 

Turn 7
Here are some final pix showing how the game ended.

The Guard patrol has the Jews in custody, dead to rights for a murder, tho we don’t know exactly how the judicial process will play out in the days to come. No pigs were injured in making this report.

The Sneaks are running from the scene of the crime, having successfully done exactly what the Brothel Owners’ Association ordered. They are due a useful amount of cash.

Patrons of the Dolphin have fled the premises in response to the biological attack, and two of them find their bodyguards mysteriously dead in the alley. I fear these events will not encourage further patronage of the Dolphin. Unpleasant surprises are not what customers want. Generally speaking. 

Brasidas and his gang are heading off to look after the urine jars in a quieter part of the town.

In the main part of the Red Light District, the party continues. In fact it’s time for the next artistic performance, held in front of the statue of Eros, patron divinity of the area.


That’s all from Pattayavium for now

Saturday 8 June 2024

3D printed minis from BS5 Beyond Games (and a discount code!?)

Work and other commitments have paused our Devilry Afoot campaign for a few weeks. While I've not had the chance to do much painting (I have just started my next Seleukid unit), I have been conceptualising my next project; more details on that in the future. Suffice to say, I need a few more minis!

Looking for something different, I've been eyeing up the 3D printed kobold range from Warp Miniatures for a while. I love the style of the sculpts, and have been more than happy with the Warp stuff I have painted in the past. Frustratingly I haven't yet joined the 3D-printer-owners'-society yet, so much of the of Warp Miniatures range was out of reach until I discovered BS5 Beyond Games.  I discovered they were licensed printers of some Warp ranges so asked them about the kobolds. They didn't do them a week ago, but they do now and Rowland and Alex were good enough to send me almost a dozen of the little beggars!

I'm now the proud owner of a kobold magic-user and a swarm of 10 wee minions. There are plenty of options there for arming them with spears, daggers or slings. I super impressed by both the Warp Miniatures' sculpts, and by the quality of the prints from BS5 Beyond Games.

On top of everything else, the lads also created a special discount code for readers of the Irregular Wars blog! If you check out their site and find anything that takes your fancy, use the code IWFB20 at checkout to get 20% off your order. Great service and a discount code. You can't say no to that!    

Saturday 1 June 2024

Devilry Afoot - 13 game campaign (session 3)

Session 3 brought us through three more scenarios for our Devilry Afoot campaign. If you need to go back, Session 1 covered the first three hunts, Session 2 covered hunts hunts four and five. For this session, the party of Clijsters, Fr Hans, Gruber, Dr Midnite, and Betty were joined by the Scottish gentleman, Jacobus Stuart (a secret flagellant), and his follower Hamish.

Scenario 6) Of Magpies and Ravens
When the pay chests disappeared, it didn’t really come as a surprise. To have had such wealth protected by such a small escort had practically damned them all from the start. What had come as a surprise was the savagery dealt to the half-company meant to guard the army’s wealth: hamstrung, and with their heads dashed in with rocks or cloven by poleaxes, the hapless bodies left drained of blood. Now, as the shock of the barbarity wears off, thoughts turn to the treasures rumoured to have been buried in the neighbouring moorland.

For this scenario the party set out without Fr Hans, Dr Midnite or Betty, taking to the moors to hunt three redcaps. Jacobus and Hamish cornered one by the edge of the moors which struck out at them, before dashing off the table. Gruber and Clijsters managed to slay another. All the while , the third redcap skulked beside a lone tree. Only after its comrades were dead or fled did it come out of hiding, becoming easy prey for the party who walked away with the loot.

Scenario 7) The Beast in the Fog
The great black dog had been seen in the past, but its appearances were getting more frequent, and increasingly violent. Eviscerated remains of travellers had come to light more than a few times in recent months and the baying of the hellish beast could be heard clear across the lonely moors. The hunting party recruited to track the beast had followed it far out into the wilds before the dense fog closed in, causing the hunters to lose their way, and making it impossible to determine the intentions of the eery shapes emerging into view.

Still without Dr Midnite and Betty, and now with Fr Hans rather than Goodman Gruber, the party stumbled further into the moors. Separated in the fog, and pursued by dark shapes, it soon became clear that a barghest was hunting Col. Clijsters. Not wanting to face the beast alone, he chose to flee, relying on his party members to converge on his position and face the beast together. He was attacked multiple times, but each time was saved by his combination of buff coat and cuirass. Holding true to the plan, Jacobus, Hamish and Hans came together and the beast was slain.

Scenario 8) The Cursed City
The city had defiantly closed its gates on the advancing enemy, bravely holding out longer than anyone could have imagined, but famine and pestilence stalked the streets long before the enemy assault. Now, in the wake of the sack, among the ruinous, burnt-out buildings, the pattering sound of feet in ash is all that can be heard where once there were the cries of street vendors and the laughter of children. For those that still eke out a meagre existence among the chaos, the traumas of the siege have left an indelible mark.

For this scenario we brought all five characters and the two followers to hunt the evils haunting the city. The vampyre is an incredibly vicious and tough monster, and here he was supported by two ghouls. Jacobus and Hamish attacked one ghoul immediately before it turned the tables and forces Hamish to flee. The second ghoul skulked in a side street, its drive to hunt the innocent civilians in the settlement somewhat lacking. 

The vampyre, however, was very active. He was charged first by Gruber whom he charmed, before sending him running. The monster then killed an innocent, before swinging back to face Col. Clijsters. Distracted by the soldier, the vampyre failed to see Fr Hans approaching from the rear. Stowing his holy item and readying a wooden stake, the religious rushed at the vampyre. Having foretold this moment when reading the stars earlier in the evening, Hans defied the odds and plunged his stake straight through the creature's withered heart. It was then a simple enough job hunting the ghouls, both of whom were ultimately killed by the Scottish gentleman.

So three more scenarios in, and the hunting party are feeling confident. Their various experience upgrades are telling with a couple of specialists emerging: Fr Hans using scripture to keep monsters at bay while Clijsters and Gruber provide muscle. It was a relatively smooth session with the dice in our favour all night long. Having a redcap and ghoul each skulk in the shadows rather than joining the fray early in two of the scenarios proved a real boon, while Fr Han's great fortune made killing the vampyre look easy. Even the barghest, who has torn our hunters asunder more times than not, failed to make much of an impact. 

Still, there are more testing times ahead...