Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Lands East of the Misty Mountain: The Land of Nod

The Dark Land of Nod: The barren plain of Nod lies to the East of the Misty Mountain.  A land shrouded in mystery.  A land rife with goblinkind, fell beasts, and evil men.  This is also the land where the Witch King built his dark tower of Darakdur.  There are hundreds if not thousands of goblinkind tribes throughout Nod.  On occasion a great orc or goblin warlord will rise to power and unite the goblin-tribes and then set out to conquer the west or east.  More often then not though, the invader is a minion of Nekash, the Witch King.

Western Factions & Lands Part III

The Feydark:  Is a large forest on the eastern side of the Reichmark.  The forest is the realm of the Forest King Enarion.  Many elven villages are spread throughout the Feydark.  Their exact numbers are unknown to all but themselves.  One hundred years ago when faced with the marauding orc army of Gungabad, the Forest King summoned the Feydark Militia, the greatest elven army since the fall of Ulthantis.  Enarion led his army and was joined by the Reichmark Emperor Magnus the Pious and together they destroyed Gungabads army and killed the vile warlord.

The Seamarill: Is a coastal forest on the northern plain of Miln.  It is the realm of the Sky King, Aeraethlon.  As with the Feydark no one knows the exact demographics of the forest but suffice it to say we doubt it is as large as the Feydark.  Seamarill is an ally and trading partner of Miln.  The Seamarill are avid flyers, they often ride into battle on the backs of small drakes.  The Sky King has a personal friend, bodyguard and mount in the great sea drake, Aeyrixis.

The Red Hollows:  Is a forest between the plain of Casterly Rock, Gavony and the Gray Mountains.  Many elves make the Hollows their home but they are all fiercely independent.  It is unknown what social structure they maintain but when threatened, they do field a unified force and one to be reckoned with.

The Black Vault:  Is a vast web of interconnecting tunnels and caverns beneath the surface of Aeyr, in elvish it is more properly translated as the Underdark.  The Black Vault is vast and deep.  There are no known recorded maps of it's entirety and presently there is only one known entrance that opens up on the surface in the west.  This "entrance" lies in the Southeast corner of the Reichmark and is a gaping cavern beneath the southern Rhyne River falls, this cavern has become known as Skull Pass.  There are several known species of creatures that inhabit the Vault.  First and one of the most vile, are the Dark Elves known as the Drow (pronounced Dra-ou, as in now.)  A fiendish race of black skinned, white haired elves, whom worship the evil goddess Lolth.  Another dire race from below are the Duergar or Gray Dwarfs, reknown for their cruelty and wickedness.

The Black Forest:  The largest known forest in the west, is a dark and brooding place.  Full of dire beasts and eldritch creatures.  Herds of vile beastmen roam here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Western Factions Continued...

The Dwarf Realm of Dun Garuk:  Dun Garuk is situated in the Gray Mountains.  It is comprised of three large halls,  Khazad Modgorond, Kkazad Nothrogond, Khazad Erebor.  Erebor is the the capital and shining jewel of the Gray Mountains.

The Dwarf Realm of Dun Huack: Dun Huack is located in the northern Dragon Fang Mountains.  It has two holds, Khazad Huack, and Khazad Althgorond with Huack as the capital and only hold to produce Mithril in great quantity.

The Dwarf Realm of Dun Kothgorond :  Dun Kothgorond is located in the Misty Mountains east of Dun Garuk.  Kothogorond is the only hold and captial.

The Black Watch:  The Black Watch is a non-aligned military fraternal order located in the Dragon Fang Mountains.  The Watch has guarded the west from hostile invasion from the Frozen Wastes by bands of Orcs, Barbarians and eldritch monsters and beasts for 300 years.  It's headquarters is the famed Black Castle and it guards the Frost Gap.  Volunteers from all races and kingdoms of the west are accepted.  Lords often give criminals a chance to escape the dungeon by taking "the Black," an oath to serve the Black Watch until death.

To be a member of the Black Watch is to eschew home and kin for the brotherhood.  All the kings of the west send men to serve in the Watch.  By far the Reichmark is the largest contributor of troops.  Mostly criminals, and outcasts but all are taken even the high born.  But whether highborn or commoner, once there the novice swears the Black Oath which is followed by a rigorous training program and indoctrination.  Merit and ability are prized in the Watch, not blood and kin.  In the Watch a common man can become a Knight or a Grand Master and a man who may once have been a noble's son might now scrub dishes or sweep dung in the stables.  The Watch is a rare place where a man can be more than what he was born.  Once trained for duty on the Watch a novice becomes a Brother.  To desert the Black Watch bears the penalty of death.  The Watch has their own hierarchy with the top post being held by the Grand Master who also bears the title of the Black Baron and his estate is known as the Barony of the Frost Gap, an area bequeathed to the brotherhood for their upkeep. Beneath the Grand Master are the Black Wardens, Rangers and Knights, and the Brothers themselves.  When a Grand Master passes on, the new Grand Master is elected from among the Black Wardens, Rangers and Knights of the Brotherhood in a conclave.  Once elected the Grand Master serves for life.

The Black Watch has stood so long that is has developed it's own cult.  The Brothers have temples and shrines setup for the honored dead of the Watch.  Those whose bravery in death led them out of the Black into the Light.  While most brothers serve as guards in the castle, keeps and towers of the Gap many find work in the kitchens, stables, smithies and fields of the Watch proper and the Barony itself.

The Barony of the Black Gap has a small population of peasants.  There are 13 scattered villages, towns and a single large city, Everwinter located just outside the Black Castle.  These folk are not bound by the Watch nor are they required to take the Black Oath but they live in a highly regimented militaristic society.  They do however owe military service to the Grand Master in the Baronial Militia when called upon.  Each village has an Warden as it's mayor.  The Warden is responsible for the protection and governance of the village he is assigned to.  The estimate population is 19,000 souls not counting the Brothers of the Black Watch themselves.

Friday, February 15, 2013

New Factions as of February 2013

I've been rethinking how I want my campaign to run.  I redrew the map and started with a smaller campaign area and have reduced the factions for it accordingly.  I can always expand it later.  So with that in mind here is, yet again, another faction listing for Aeyr.

The West
The Reichmark Empire:  The largest state in the west.  The Reichmark is a confederation of many smaller petty kingdoms whom in ages past banded together in common cause for defense and trade.  The petty states of the Reichmark currently number 150 but that number often changes due to internal strife, political wrangling and outright hostilities.  The lords of the Reichmark states elect from among themselves the Emperor to serve as the Imperial Head of State.

The Ulthantis Empire:  At one time a quarter of the worlds populace lived and died under the reign of the Phoenix Kings of Ulthantis.  Today the Elven Empire has retreated to their island homelands, leaving behind cousins whom separately rule the four last enclaves of Elves on the western continent.

The Kingdom of Breton:  The Guy de Leon rules the Bretons with his captial in the city of Breton which lies on the Sword Coast in the south.  Breton is not as wealthy as their northern neighbors but they are a force to reckon with.  The predominantly human the Bretons worship Danu the Sea Nymph, an Elven diety.

The Duchy of Aphetto:  Aphetto lies to the south of Breton.  It's hot climate makes it an ideal place for olives, wine and many spices.  The Doge of Aphetto has grown rich from his city's trade and has raised an impressive army for defense but he is more than content to keep his army behind the city walls.  At least for the time being.  What other kingdoms might do on the battlefield, the Doge does on the marketplace.

The Caliphate of Krasia:  Krasia is the southernmost human kingdom in the west.  It lies on the Sword Coast and borders the Great Sand Sea.  The Krasians are a militant society with all aspects of life geared towards war, specifically fighting the demonic threat that rises each night in the world of Aeyr.  The are highly religious and worship the God of War.

The Grand County of Casterly Rock:  The Lannister family has ruled Casterly Rock for hundreds of years.  Their emblem is the Lion and they are power hungry and ambitious.  Tywin Lannister the Count eyes an empire of his own and would have one had his neighbors been a bit weaker.  From Casterly Rock to Lannisport, Count Tywin rules one of the larger kingdoms in the west.

The Duchy of Miln:  Is unique in that the head of state is a man but his chief counsel are only women.  Duke Euchor rules Miln upon the advise of the Council of Mothers.  Miln was once known as the Jewel of the North when their mines produced untold riches but their veins are not producing as they once did and many have been shut down completely.

The Bishopric of Gavony:  Gavony is ruled by the Church of Avacyn, the Archangel.  It's leader is known as the Lunarch.  The good folk of Gavony are a superstitious lot but not without good reason for their realm borders The Black Forest, home to werewolves, vampires, and other eldritch creatures.

The Barony of Candlekeep:  Candlekeep sits on the northern shore of the Sword Coast.  It's the last city before the long trek to Winterfell and the Black Castle.  The Lord of Candlekeep is a bannerman to the Winter King who rules the north from his fortress in Winterfell.

The Kingdom of Winterfell:  Winter is Coming, the motto of the Winterfell and the Winter King.  Winterfell is one of those rarest of places where a man can become more than he was born.  The Noble House Stark has ruled over Winterfell for centuries.  Rob Stark sits upon the Frozen Throne as the Winter King.  The youngest monarch in the west, but one of the most powerful.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

New Campaign Map

I've designed a new campaign map, this one is much smaller and fits in certain fantasy elements that I wanted.  I'm not going to define too many borders but rather leave them open for deeper delving.  Needless to say the  Lords of Aeyr rule over the areas immediately around their holds.  The two exceptions that I've made are the Elven Enclaves, and the Reichmark Empire.  The map represents the western most lands of Aeyr which are bounded by the Sea of Swords in the West, the Frozen Wastes in the North, the Great Sand Sea in the South and the something I've yet to name in the East.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

25mm Prince August Home Cast Goblins

I cast these last summer and painted them up last week.  I like how they turned out.  Will cast some more up this spring and summer.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Mayhem Fantasy Mass Battles Playtest Game Conclusion

Alright, back from lunch with the Mrs and a trip to the Post Office to mail some toy soldiers.  I picked back up where I left off.  The rest of the game ran much smoother and faster too.

Elves kill off a unit of Skeleton Swordsmen.  While the Wight Guard advances.

Skeleton Warriors and Elf Cav get stuck in proper.

Elves continue to stomp on the bones of the Undead.

Skeletons smack down some Elves and gives them a disorder marker.

Skeletal Archers shoot at the advancing Elf Spearmen and inflict disorder upon them.  This was interesting as I did not roll to hit but took the default value since the target was well within effective range.  The damage produced the disorder.

Wights inflict disorder on the Elven archers.

Elvish turn, and they fail as the Skeleton Swordsmen slay them  horribly.

Seeing their brethren smote down the remaining Elven cavalry roll double 1's on their foe.

Elven Archers flank the Wight Guard and sent them back to the shadow.

The battlefield at the start of next turn.  Above the Wight Knights approach on their hell steeds.

I chose to use the dangerous roll for movement and it paid off, the Wight Knights get stuck in.

With some good Command Points the Skeleton Swordsmen flank the Elven Cavalry  to no avail, resulting in a skeletal unit being destroyed.

The Wight Knights bring disorder and ruin with them.

Elf Cav lines up to assault their Skeletal foes.

Melee resulted in the Elves becoming disordered.

The Wight Knights continue their dark work.

Archers shoot again.

The last Elf Cavalry with their field commander, fall.  Disorder marker and a loss on the die = death.

I used some CP to bring the Wights around on the Elf Archers killing one.

Battlefield prior to end.

More CP trickery, I had 6 CP left over and used them to create this melee.  Booyah Elves!
Mayhem is an interesting game, I will continue to explore it and see if I can master it.  I'm sure the next game will flow better.  I will focus more on army building for the next battle.  More Mayhem to come.

Mayhem Fantasy Mass Battles Playtest Turns 1 & 2

Still reading the Mayhem rules and am trying to determine how things work.  There are several interesting concepts in the game.  I assembled 2 armies of 150 points each, elves and undead.  As my college son is not around to help playtest I decided to play out two turns solo and see where it goes.  I will continue the battle after I hear back from the author and after I return home from taking my wife to lunch.  

My First Thoughts
Some concepts are not explained when they are introduced like "Push" and "Deadlock" this leaves me feeling puzzled.  Various die types are used and you want to roll low, with a one being a critical success.  Movement is based on a die roll and to hit in ranged combat is unique and kind of a neat idea.  I was in hopes that this might be the long awaited fantasy rules I've always wanted but alas there is a lot of tedious small math in the rules, however when actually played it might be different. (It has been different so far, see bottom.)

Both armies assembled on a 2'x2' board.  Gave each a Command Die of d10, Elves rolled a 7.

Elves prepare their lines, I reformed them to take advantage of the 3 unit "advance" rule.

Undead await with a cold gaze.

Elves advance as well as 3 units of Skeleton Swordsmen.  The Elven archers shot at the Wight Guards with the banner , the distance was 12" so a 12 was needed to hit, I rolled 3d12 and no hits.

Wights use the "Danger" option for movement and advance rapidly towards the Elves.  Movement is based on a die type and you can either take the default value for the die type, in this case a d8 with a default of 4 or you can roll the die and see how many inches they move.  The Wights moved 6 and 7 inches.  I like this rule.

Elf turn and their heavy cav squares up on a unit of Wights, now if I read the rules correctly the Elves have 3d12 with the Wights a single d8.  Scores shown in the picture and you take the best score of the dice thrown.  In this case the Elves scored a critical hit with that 1 roll and destroyed the Wights.  My question now is did the Wights cause disorder on the Elves with their 2 roll?
My Second Thoughts
Well, I like the movement rules, and the ranged combat rules on rolling to hit based on distance.  I'm still foggy on how command works and I'm not decided on melee yet nor army building.  Seems a lot of troops stand around waiting.  Need more experience with the game.

Mayhem: Fantasy Mass Battles

Recently acquired the Mayhem Fantasy Mass Battles rules.  The artwork is spectacular, however the layout seems a bit cramped.  I started reading the rules today and hope to have a battle going by tomorrow.  Once I play the game I will post a review.  You get a lot with your purchase, the rules also come with a General's Compendium, QRS and Army Worksheet.  You can pick up the book over at WargamesVault.  

Friday, February 1, 2013

Warrior Heroes - Armies and Adventures

Recently picked up this game from a TMP member.  I have met the author, he is a very stand up guy and I've bought 2 other games from him.  This game is a mix of RPG and wargame.  So we'll see where it fits in Aeyr.  You can pick up a copy directly from the author here: Two Hour Wargames: WH: AA