Thursday, September 26, 2013

Campaign Starting Location: Winterfell & the North (Northern Westermark)

Starting Location:  Northern Westermark (Westermark = The West)

Winterfell & Northern Westermark

Northern Factions
  • ·         The Black Watch
  • ·         Winterfell
  • ·         Barbarian Clans
  • ·         Frozen Wastes
  • ·         Northern Barons.
  • ·         Dun Garok (Dwarfs)

Nominal Ruler: The Winter King of Winterfell.

Reality: The Northern Barons rule their own lands with little interference from Winterfell.  On rare occasion the Winter King will demand a levy but no WK has ever sought tribute although he could certainly enforce it if he desired.  While the Barons are bound on paper by the Glacies Carta the ancient artifact treaty between the Dwarfs and the IWK no one is forced to swear an oath.

The Frozen Wastes:  Lawless frontier.  Mostly scattered barbarian tribes but a few nomadic orckin tribes dwell there.  Every hundred years or so a Barbarian King will arise and unite the clans and invade south.  This was always a terrible time until the VIII Winter King along with help from the Southern lands built The Black Keep and established the Black Watch to guard the lone pass from the wastes to the Westermark.  Once a man “puts on the Black” he is bound for life to the Black Keep and being ever vigilant guarding the pass.

The frost tends to make metal stick so most warriors here fight with axes, bows, spears, clubs and maces.  Platemail does exist though it is rarer than in the rest of the West.  The most common armor is leather types, due to its warmth capabilities as compared to plate, chain or ringmail. 

Spring lasts about 3 months followed by a very short summer & fall with typical winter lasting 6 months.   Most available farm land is dedicated to livestock and a hearty wheat grain.  Fish is a main staple especially near the rivers, lakes and the coast.

Largest cities are Winterfell and Candlekeep.  Candlekeep has been ruled by a branch of the Winterfell Stark family for 300 years.  The XX Winter King is the young Robert Stark.  His older cousin Brenden Stark rules Candlekeep as Duke.

Religion:  The Pagan Cult of Ulric, God of Winter, Wolves and Battle is the largest religion.  There are a few animist cults and the Cult of Sigmar has a growing but minor presence.  Every so often a Krasian Cleric can be spotted but they are usually ignored.

Baronial feuds are common but usually don’t spread too far, rarely requiring intervention from Candlekeep or Winterfell.  At any one time there are 150 Northern Barons.  A warlord will arise & claim a new throne or one baron will conquer another.  Sometimes the common folk will simply upstakes and move to a new Lord with a better grasp on reality leaving the old Baron with no income and no militia.  This usually results in a stronger Baron taking over.  Sometimes Baronies change hands through marriage.  One sonless Baron will marry his daughter to the son of another and then their child inherits both lands only to have the lands split again among his own heirs.

The barbarian clans dwell in the far Northern Plains and in Northern caves and crags of the Dragonspine Mountains.  These are very primitive folk but are skilled craftsmen and will often trade with travelers, if they don’t kill them and take what they have.

The Dwarfs of Dun Garok tend to be reclusive.  They do send out trading caravans from time to time, in search of resources and gold.  Occasionally they will send out a punitive expedition to deal with marauding barbarians, orckin and occasionally they will parley with the Winter King if one of his Barons becomes a problem.  You can find Dwarf merchants trading at the Black Keep, some even have shops in Winterfell and as far away as Candlekeep.  It’s not unheard of for a rich Baron to have a Dwarf smith on his payroll.

Into this setting comes Wulfgar, son of a deposed Baron from the Wolf Clans near Winterfell.  Wulfgars father was slain by his jealous half-brother.  Wulfgar had been away on a coming of age trip south when the coup took place.  It wasn't until his return 2.5 years later that he learned of his uncle’s treachery.  Most of his father’s trusted men that survived had fled to other baronies and to Winterfell.  It was to Winterfell that Wulfgar returned with his travelling companions.  The XXWK could not intervene as Cult of Ulric forbids the WK from meddling in the internal affairs of the Barons.  If Wulfgar wanted his Barony returned and avenge his father, he would have to raise a small army to do it and that would cost a lot of money, more than he could acquire in a life time of work.  So it was that Wulfgar and his companions became adventurers seeking fame and fortune.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Campaign Settings: Too Many Choices

I've mentioned before how I enjoy the settings for Warhammer, Game of Thrones, D&D, Warmachine, some of the Magic TG worlds and many others.  I've tried for seven years to come up with a logical way to take from here and there and mix them all together.  The conclusion is that I simply have not been successful.  So I once again I am at the drawing board for a campaign setup.  Well, actually it's never left the drawing board.

So I've decided to start over again from scratch.  What's known or what is definite is that there are certain traits that must exist in my campaign world.  In other words these things listed below must be present but they do not have to be present all at once.  I know what I must do and that is to start small.  I've tried to fit in too many things at once, even tried making them all smaller and making the map smaller but there are simply too many.  Another issue is trying to decide what miniature scale.  However it seems pretty clear.

6mm:  Just not enough in fantasy to justify it.
10mm:  There are plenty of historicals and OOP Warmaster can, for now, be found on eBay.
15mm:  Obvious choice, abundant and plenty to choose from.
25mm:  Another good choice, however I like small game tables and the smaller scales are faster to paint up.  But that said I plan to do almost all dungeon delving in 25mm.  However I do have a good stash of Caesar 1/72 fantasy for that as well as 15mm.

Elves:  Now, my first thoughts are that I want High Elves and Wood Elves but maybe that's pushing it.  Maybe a combination of the two will work? Also Drow or Dark Elves, these guys for sure will be featured, the easy part for them is I do not have to mix them with the previous two.  Might take a closer examination of Elvendom in Warmachine, I believe they have them there but only as a single faction.  That's not to say that I am copying and pasting, not at all simply getting more information.

Imperial Humans:  Here's a tough one.  This comes from my love of the Warhammer fiction novels.  Love the Emperor, Sigmar, Witch Hunters, and Steam Tanks.

Low or High Magic:  Just a year or so ago I would have quickly said High Magic like D&D but Game of Thrones and the Warded Man series has given me a new found respect for a low magic campaign.  How do I find a middle ground on that one?

Dwarfs:  Warhammer and Warcraft Dwarfs, awesome in a small package.  The road block I run into is that I have many different models for Dwarfs.  So I thought of making two breeds of dwarf, Mountain and Hill or Imperial Dwarf.  Mountain dwarfs hardy and stoic like the Warcraft/Hammer dwarfs.  Hill or Imperial Dwarfs smaller in stature and live among humans.  I guess I need to inventory my "Hill/Imperial" dwarfs and see if I have enough to finish an army with a few left over for skirmish games and if not sell them.

Great Enemy:  In the barren lands of Nod, there rules the Great Enemy of the West.  You get the picture.

Orcs & Goblins:  Not much of a problem really.  Only issue is trying to decide between LotR/D&D orcs or Warhammer types.

Desert Army:  As in Krasia from the Warded Man.  Gotta have it.

Daemons and other monsters that stalk the night with the good folk using protective wards to keep them at bay.  More Warded Man stuff.

Winterfell from GoT.  Love the Starks and their sigil, like the Lannisters too.  Gotta have the Night Watch as well.

Creon: From Total Annihilation Kingdoms.  Very similar to Warmachine.

Border Princes:  A good place to plant ideas for new armies.

So what I'm thinking of is a campaign with few gunpowder weapons, they do exist, just rare and very costly.  Magick is evident but uncommon, seen a little more than rare but is not an every day thing.  People lock up at night behind warded doors and windows due to the daemon/monster threat.  Several interesting races and mysterious lands to discover.

Also I think once the Duchess and I move to our new home late next Winter this will really take off.  As I'll be settled into our new home for at least the next 10 years (crosses fingers) and I'll have a better inventory of my lead pile.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

HOTT Battle: Orcs vs. Early Imperial Humans (Romans)

I played an introduction game of Hordes of the Things for a friend of mine.  It was his first HOTT experience.  I let him play my Orcs & Gobbos while I played my Early Imperial Romans.  Late in the game I put my General out to flank an Orc warband which was successful but this left my General exposed and he was quickly killed and devoured.  

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Back from Fall RECRUITS in Kansas City!

Made a day trip up to Kansas City for RECRUITS.  Had a great time.  Came back with some good bargains from the silent auction and the markets.  Learned a new game Freeblades, and broke their d6 record at the same time.  Really enjoyed it.  Here are some pictures of "blog related" items of the con

Thursday, September 12, 2013

First Elements of 25mm Feudal Human Army: Mage & Sneaker

Here are the first two completed elements for a 25mm Human Feudal Army I'm putting together for HOTT & Fantasy Brigadier.  The Sneaker, I believe, is an old Grenadier Lords thief.  The Mage is a 1/72 Magic User from the Caesar's Miniatures Adventures Box. The Dragon is from Reaper Miniatures.  The power crystal is a shirt bead from Hobby Lobby.  The odd rock on the Sneaker base I bought at an antique flea market, 3 for $1.USD Forgot what they called them but I thought they might make nice terrain.

Priestess Tessa of the Order of the Blue Flame of Danu.

Master Assassin and Poisoner, Vex the Vile.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Samurai Warband Complete and Ready to Serve

Here are my assembled samurai from the White Empire.  Note the Imperial Noble mounted clothed in white with purple armor.  At his side is the terrible red katana sword of Tajudo the Great, a mythical weapon that grants +1 to hit in combat.