Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Hottlandia: Now with Forests!

Holdfast has updated his map of Hottlandia, the home to all our local Hordes of the Things armies, adding some forests to the terrain.

Now, if I can actually get some people together for some HotT gaming...

Everyone who runs a fantasy RPG either creates their own setting or uses a published one.  And some games, like Warhammer, have their own setting as well. But what about for other wargames?Anyone else have a custom campaign area for their battles?

Monday, April 28, 2014


Awhile back, I suggested that it would be nice if all the local Hordes of the Things gamers would list their armies and generals, and provide names for their homelands as well.  Not for a by-the-book campaign, but just to provide a little more background for when two players have a quick round of HotT.

I got quite the roll of forces, along with names of generals and countries, which are reproduced below.  And local gamer Holdfast took this campaign seed a step further, providing the map above, so we can figure out where our armies lie in relation to one another.  I call this land ... Hottlandia.

ARMY                         TYPE                COUNTRY            
Order of the Scarlet Serpent Ancient Greek       Hellas
Scorpions of Dirz            Confronatation Dirz Desert of Syrharhalna
Sons of Muspel               Fire Creatures      Muspelheim
Spiders                      Giant Spiders       Arachnia
XIII Legion                  Imperial Romans     Nova Roma
Bug Army                     Nature Civilization The World Jungle
Space Invaders               Video Game Badguys  The Arcade
Lost Platoon                 40K Imperial Guard  Sector 53A
Dark Host of Nagarroth       WFB Dark Elves      Nagarrothi Raiders
League of the Scarlet Falcon WFB Empire          Province of Rhosynland
Maroons                      WFB Empire          Barony of Maroon
Middenheimers                WFB Empire          Middenheim
Nordlanders                  WFB Empire          Grand Barony of Nordland
Nulners                      WFB Empire          City State of Nuln
Ostlanders                   WFB Empire          Province of Ostland
Stirlanders                  WFB Empire          Grand County of Stirland
Non-Undefeated Gobbos        WFB Goblins         Drakwald Forest
Warhost of Ulthanas          WFB High Elves      Kindrallah
Nightmare Legion             WFB Skeletons       Necromunda
Crypt Guard                  WFB Vampires        The Black Forest

As you can see, there are a lot of repurposed Citadel armies on this roster, as well as recycled historical figures, prepainted minis, and converted toys. Not only does Hordes of the Things spark creativity, it lets you keep using old armies that were originally intended for other rules.

Now, I'm off to conquer Hottlandia!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

X-Winging it

Since Saturday's dungeon craw was abbreviated thanks to low player turnout (i.e., one), Rickey and I played a couple of games of X-Wing to finish out the afternoon. Since he'd never played before, we did a quick game of two TIE fighters against one X-Wing so he could pick up the basics.  He took the two Imperials, while I played the lone Rebel.  The game had a lot of maneuvering back and forth, as we wore each other down. 
After I eliminated one of his ships, we flew around with one hull point each, until I was able to get him in my sights and destroy his remaining craft.  We then decided to play another game, this time with around 60 or so points.  He added two ships, an Interceptor and a Bomber, and I also took on more vessels, a Y-wing and a HWK-290.
This game didn't go as well for me.  The X-wing fell to some good shooting and flying from one of the TIEs.  And for the other two, flying in formation near a bomb blast wasn't a good idea. In the end, he had all his ships, with only the TIE bomber damaged.  This was his first time to play the game, and by his second match, he was flying like an ace!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Your guide for the dungeon

Trying to get my dungeon crawl going, and all but one player canceled out on me today due to prior commitments (thanks Fiesta!).  Rickey, however, was willing to brave my Holmes rules dungeon with his thief Alaric going solo, but I talked him into looking for someone to accompany him back into the halls of the wizard Nosira Kam.  He was approached by a Halfling, one Banker Baggins (no relation),  who was willing to join him as a partner for an equal share of the treasure.  But Alaric wanted a  majority share, and a low reaction roll left the Banker storming away from their meeting. 
Later, the scholar Fumend Pal the Tall said he had his own reasons for exploring the dungeons of the wizard and approached the thief about being a guide.  After a short negotiation, the thief signed a contract to guide Fumend through the dungeon for 15 gold and a one-quarter share of any treasure found.  Their explorations took them through a garbage-filled room that concealed a nice silver braclet, and the into a hall filled with statues and mysterious laughter, where the bracelet and Alaric's two daggers disappeared, causing a little confusion between the two dungeoneers.  Some more rooms with tools and materials for sculptures led to a bag filled with pieces of malachite and then to an encounter with wandering elves.
Although tense at first, the elves became friendly and even gifted Alaric with an elven dagger.  Some more exploration led the duo into a room with three berserkers.  Luckily, the explorers got the drop on the fighting men, with two of them dropping their weapons in surprise.  As Fumend chanted a spell of Protection from Evil, Alaric threw his manmade dagger at the berserker who still held his weapon, and the Viking warrior charged.  They traded blows, then a stout whack from Fumend's staff sent the warrior collapsing to the floor.  This didn't stop his battle-lusting companions who pressed the attack, but eventually the two explorers defeated all three berserkers. 
Finding but a few copper pennies on the vanquished foes and taking their weapons, Fumend determined it was time to leave the dungeon, although the thief wanted to stay.  But as the person paying the bills, the boss won out and the pair returned to the surface with a few semi-precious stones, some coins, and the sundry items they had gained from their adventure.  The patron handed Alaric his pay and his share of the loot, and the two parted ways, a successful foray into the dungeon behind them.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Entomalian reinforcements

I know, I know ... I already have plenty of spaceship minis.  But when this batch popped up on Ebay at a bargain price, I had to bid.  And now they're mine: four stellar destroyers (Wasp class), two stellar cruisers (Hornet class), one galactic battlecruiser (Scorpion class), and one galactic dreadnought (Mantis class).  Operation Bug Tussle is coming together ...

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Defending an Ogre Raid

This past weekend when Holdfast came over to play Starmada, we also got in a game of OGRE.  We played the Raid scenario on the G1 map, with my opponent attacking with a Mark IV (code name: Shemp) and six GEVs.
He came up the west side of the board, stopping to lay waste to the towns along the way (the terrain overlays in the Designer's Edition are a great way to show this).  There wasn't much I could do to stop him at first, as almost all my reinforcements came in on the edge opposite from all the action, and he took out one of my Mobile Command Posts as well.
His delays proved his undoing, however, as my backup units were finally able to get close enough to take out his guns and slow him down.  Once I was able to keep up, I could strip away treads until the enemy was immobile.
We were very close on points scored, but he lost all his attacking units.  According to the scenario, that made the battle a decisive Paneuropean victory.  Hooray for our side!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Introductory OGRE

Weekend before last, a friend's son was over at our house.  We've played some wargames together, but he had never played OGRE, so I introduced him to the basic scenario of Mark III vs. CP.  He picked up the rules easily, and soon had the cybertank headed up the map, wiping my conventional forces off the board.
He did get distracted taking out all my units, losing almost all his weapons, and the game came down to whether my last defender, a Howitzer, could take out the last of the OGRE's treads.  The answer was no.
We played a second game using same units on the G1 map, with the Mark III entering through a lake hex.  We used the rules for terrain and destruction of hexes.
This time my young opponent quickly burned through my defenses for a straight shot at the Command Post.  With just one armor unit left, I conceded the game.
We had a good time playing, and I think I have a new convert to the world of OGRE.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

First game of Starmada

Saturday I had a chance to play the spaceship combat game Starmada Admiralty Edition and the Starfleet Battles conversion called Klingon Armada, which fellow gamer Holdfast brought over, along with some Starfleet Battles miniatures for some Trek gaming.
It was the first time for both of us to play the game, so we each took about 560 or so points of pregenerated starships from the Klingon Armada book.  I chose to play the Klingons, with two D-7 battlecruisers, the Razor Blade and the Knife's Edge.  Mark had two Federation light cruisers, the Hood and the Wasp, and a frigate from his Prime Directive roleplaying campaign, the Stauffenberg.  Since Mark didn't have exact models for each ship, and we're not Trek purists, we did a little proxying with a Clix mini. 
The rules are pretty straightforward, although the movement system takes awhile to get down.  The combat was very reminiscent of Warhammer, with rolling to hit, then rolling to penetrate shields, then rolling damage.  The two fleets quickly closed and started pounding each other.  My two D-7s unloaded on the poor frigate on the first turn, and since asteroids blocked line-of-sight to one of my ships, the other took the brunt of the Federation shots.
With preplotted movement, the two sides ended up at close range on the second turn, where we each managed to take out one of the other's capital ships.  All shooting in the game is considered simultaneous, and damage takes effect at the end of the turn, so each ship was able to get off its shots before exploding.
My remaining ship was mostly undamaged from the first two turns, so on the third, it unleashed enough firepower to vaporize the unfortunate frigate (the ship on which the characters in Holdfast's roleplaying game serve).  The Klingon easily withstood the fire from the remaining Fed starship, and we called the game at that point.
Starmada is a fairly simple set of rules that played pretty quickly, but we were using the basic game and (other than using shield facets) avoiding all the special rules that can bog down a spaceship game.  Still, I liked it and will play Starmada again, probably in the SFB universe.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The new guys

I decided my minis collection needed some filling out, so I purchased these guys along with the hobbitses.
They are all Mage Knight figures, and you may or may not encounter some of them when roaming the halls of my very own dungeon.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Watching The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (the extended version, of course), I  realized that I didn't have any halfling minis in my collection.  Looking around, the Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures prepaints and their Pathfinder counterparts were too expensive--and worse, the figures are all wearing shoes!  However, since the Heroclix folks produced minis for The Lord of the Rings movies as well as The Hobbit films, I found a bunch of minis that are true to the source material as well as easy on the wallet.
I ordered these figures from Troll & Toad, and they all cost less than a dollar.  Note that I removed these miniatures from their huge clicky bases, which look so big they appear to overpower the figures.  Instead, pennies are a handy and cheap alternative basing method (don't worry; I plan to cover and paint the coins.
These miniatures, once they've been rebased, make fine-looking short folk.  As you can see from the photo below next to a Heroscape knight, these hobbits scale well with my other 30mm prepainted minis.
Now, if a player in my D&D campaign wants to run a halfling character, I have several to choose from--and who knows, maybe there will be some non-player character hobbits wandering around the dungeon as well.