Saturday, December 27, 2014

Reckoning in the Twin Kingdoms.

The septons and maesters of the Twin Kingdoms have developed a few ways to mark the passage of time. It is widely accepted within academic circles that the Aeyrth is about 40,000 years old. However some say it could possibly be much much older. No one knows for certain. However to mark the passage of time most maesters mark the passage of time since the fall of the great comet that destroyed the once vibrant Kingdom of Mordheim. Presently the year is 301 YC (Year of the Comet) or for older dates BYC (Before Year of the Comet.)

In the royal courts however the ego of kings holds to a different set of dates. Within the Kingdom of Lionspride years are marked since the ascension of Tywin I. Tywin was the founder of House Lancaster and the Kingdom of Lionspride. We are presently in 201 LY (Lions Year). The Kingdom of Wolfthorn is much more pragmatic and accepts what their maesters deem fit as learned men so the Windsors use the Year of the Comet dating system. The Dwarfs say that the year is 5301 period.  As for the elves no one knows the time they keep for they jealously guard their history.  Both kingdoms commonly accept that there are 28 months of an average of 30 days each based upon astrological signs.  The four seasons of Aeyrth last about 7 months each. Each day is comprised of 30 hours and an Aeryth week is 7 days, 1 for each saint of the Thessian Cult. Sundials, candles and water pots are a just a few of the common tools used for measuring the passage of the day.  An odd occurrence in Aeyr is that every 7 years a season will last for a period of a year or longer and they generally fall in the same order they occur within a natural year. So a few years ago we had an autumn that lasted for a year and a half. So we know that in a few more years we will have a long winter. The longest known season on record in this phenomena was a winter that lasted for almost 4 years.

Coin in both kingdoms is commonly referred to as crowns and in truth coins from each kingdom are accepted in the other. Money is measured as follows 100 copper coins are equal to 1 silver coin with 10 silver coins equal to one gold crown. The dwarfs commonly use small gold, silver, copper and lead bars in their trades with human merchants.  The elves do not trade.

Weight scales is another common measurement given in stone weight. An average man can be said to weigh about 190 stones.  Length is given in thumbs, hands and strides. For example a board may be said to be 24 thumbs or 2 hands long. A stride is generally the distance a man can walk in a single bound at a normal gait. Which comes out to be about 3 hands long or 36 thumbs.

As for the Wilds no one can say since the Wilds themselves will change and may or may not be seen again and possibly not in the same location if an area were to appear again.

A maester and a septon debate the measurement of time.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

1/72 Jungle Adventures Kit from HaT.

I picked this kit up on eBay for $5.50 with shipping. The lions will become part of an army element for House Lancaster. Lancastrian Field or Forest Lions. The other bods will go to a variety of other projects on my other blogs.


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Dark Alliance 1/72 Undead





Picked up some more 1/72 Undead models on eBay for my Black Tower Army that I have under construction.

Battlelore Expansions



I picked up both of these BL expansion at bargain prices on eBay. The dwarf models are a little cartoony IMO. The scenario book is in French but thats ok because all you really need are the deployment instructions on the scenario maps anyhow. It did come with English cards so thats a big plus.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Yours Truly...

Setting up the Agincourt Battlelore scenario last week.

25mm Orcish Steppes Campaign Base Size Study For Mass Forces

My other campaign which has already progressed along skirmish warband lines is the Orcish Steppes. It is the struggle of power between several orc clans for control of the arid steppes they reside on.  These models are all GW orcs which I've used in the skirmish campaign but may set aside for as the campaign expands into larger battles. In addition to a large collection of GW models I have some nice new 1/72 orcs from Dark Alliance which I believe is Strelets from the Ukraine.  Also GW LOTR orcs and gobbos. Then I have several orc models from Reaper Miniatures and Old Glory. However since my Twin Kingdoms campaign is going to be conducted in 1/72; I think I will keep this campaign in 25mm (28mm Heroic) and make use of all the cool models that I have and are being produced in that scale.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Battlelore: Agincourt - Solo-AI Victory

Picked up the first edition of Battlelore by Days of Wonder. I prefer it to the second edition by Fantasy Flight Games in as much as the terrain tiles match my other command and colours type games. Whereas the FFG game has excessively large terrain tiles, but very very nice models.

I played this battle as the French with the Solo-AI as the English. The game was always very close with one side scoring a VP and then the other.  I highly recommend Battlelore or any other C&C type game.



Thursday, November 13, 2014

Dwarf and Undead Test Bases.

These 1/72 models are on bases with a 50mm frontage and a 40mm depth. I am very excited about starting these two armies.  In the undead picture, all are 1/72 Caesar models but on the left is a 28mm Warhammer skeleton which will serve as a "BONE GIANT" model. I'm going to add (at this time) a skeletal mage to each element as a controller. The exception being the main element which has the main "NECROMANCER" as the central character.

The Dwarfs are a mix of 1/72 Caesar figures and some old 18mm Reaper Shadowcorps figures, which fit very nicely with the Caesar models. Their heads and girth are identical but the Caesar figures have longer legs. That's ok I'll say the SC models lived deeper underground than their Caesar cousins.

1/72 UNDEAD

1/72 DWARFS

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A Study on Base Sizes for 1/72 Models to Fight on 3'x2' Board

My 4'x4' wargame table.

The front row are 60mm frontage bases. The next are 50mm frontage bases. As you see the 50mm frontage gives an extra foot of maneuver for my intended terrain board of 3'x2'.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Twin Kingdoms: Why 1/72 vice 15mm?

Over the years I've collected an almost literal ton of 15mm fantasy wargame figures. I also love the look of massed 10mm figures. Also I had every intention of using 15mm for this campaign. However since becoming a Battlelore/Memoir '44 player I've come to appreciate again the quality of 1/72 scale miniatures.  Their price, ease of conversion, abundance and nice looks was too appealing to pass up. So I have gone back to my first scale in wargaming, 1/72. Though I hadn't gamed in that scale for almost 30 years until the Memoir '44 clone games.  Here is a link to one of the best 1/72 scale wargamer/modellers around.  Paul's Bods.

Twin Kingdoms; First Models for House Windsor?

These are 1/72 Russian Medieval Cavalry and archers from the Army of Henry V box, both are from Strelets in the Ukraine. My first thoughts on the cavalry is to make it a command/heavy cavalry element. What I mean by that is declare it to be Thane Fenn Rodrick the Lord of Frostbear and allow it to serve as an early Army General (AG) element but when ever I field the Winter King or other Windsor nobles it could serve as a heavy cavalry element. I really like the look of the Russian Medieval 1/72 line from Strelets so I ordered another box off of eBay.

Still haven't decided on base size yet but most likely will be 50mm x 40mm. As I mentioned I am going to expand my basic battlefield size out to either 3'x2 or 4'x2. Leaning a bit more towards the 3'x2' as that would allow a 1' section at the end to hold models, dice, tea etc.  My wargame table is 4'x4', and has space on one side setup permanent for Battles of Westeros, Battlelore, Battle Cry and Memoir '44. I decided to just use one board from those game since they are almost universal. Next to that is a History Channel American Civil War chess/checkers set that my father-in-law bought me. It also serves as a great staging place for rulebooks during games. All that is on one side, the other is comprised of my current 2'x2' board with a 2'x2' space for incoming models and stuff. This is where the new 3'x2' board will go.





Thursday, November 6, 2014

Twin Kingdoms: First 1/72 Models. House Lancaster?

Received the first 1/72 models for my upcoming Twin Kingdoms fantasy campaign. 100 Years War by Italeri. Will probably be used for troops from House Lancaster though I'm not 100% certain on that yet. The base is 50mm x 40mm it too is certain. I am in the works of changing up my main battlefield from a 2' square board to either a 3' x 2' board a 4' x 2' board. Leaning more towards the 3'x2'.  Anyway here are the toy soldiers.





Saturday, November 1, 2014

Twin Kingdoms: The Black Watch


THE BLACK WATCH
THE BLACK OATH
"Darkness gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Black Watch, for this night and all the nights to come."

The Black Watch is a non-aligned military fraternal order located in the East of the Twin Kingdoms.  The Watch has guarded the west from hostile invasion from the Black Tower and the Wilds many years.  It's headquarters is the famed Castle Black and it guards the Black Gap.  Volunteers from both kingdoms 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.  Both kings of the Twin Kingdoms send men to serve in the Watch.  By far Wolfthorn 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 Warden 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 Watch Warden who also bears the title of the Black Baron and his estate is known as the Barony of the Black Gap, an area bequeathed to the brotherhood for their upkeep from House Windsor. Beneath the Watch Warden are the Black Wardens, Rangers, Knights and the Brothers themselves.  When a Watch Warden passes on, the new Watch Warden is elected from among the Black Wardens, Rangers and Knights by all members of the Brotherhood. Once elected the Watch Warden 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 Black 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 7 scattered villages, towns and a single large city, Baldur's Gate 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 Watch Warden in the Baronial Militia when called upon.  Each village has a warden as it's mayor.  The local warden is responsible for the protection and governance of the village he is assigned to.  The estimate population is 29,000 souls not counting the Brothers of the Black Watch themselves.

Twin Kingdoms: Campaign Map

The Twin Kingdoms
Here is my revised map to reflect the smaller, easier to start fantasy gaming campaign. The Great River separates both kingdoms with the Kingdom of Wolfthorn in the North and the Kingdom of Lionspride in the South. Look for other posts on each kingdom and the "Wilds."

Twin Kingdoms: House Windsor


HOUSE WINDSOR
"WINTER IS COMING"
KINGDOM OF WOLFTHORN

The Kingdom of Wolfthorn, standard a black wolfs head on a snow white banner.  The king of Wolfthorn Jon II of House Windsor, also known as The Winter King an ancient title officially used in court ritual today. Which is only natural as the seasons can last for years and Wolfthorn bears the brunt of winter.  Wolfthorns capital is Winterkeep. Due to the generally harsh conditions the army prefers heavy leather with some plate armor attachments, though in the southern baronies some soldiers wear chain.  Dire wolves roam the North and King Jon keeps one as a pet. Its name is Frostfur. The motto of House Windsor bears a warning "Winter is Coming" though it is generally only used in official records.  The elite guards of the North are called the Winter Guard.  The wealth of the North lies in their iron and spice mines along with their vast timber reserves. An elite unit of the Windsorian Army are the wolf riders. Each rider raising and training his wolf up from a pup.  The army is also known to feature packs of dire wolves.

Wolfthorn stretches from the Great River to the Worlds Edge Mountains home of the Dwarven City of Dun Garok.  Good trade flows between Dun Garok and most of Winterthorn. The dwarf hold needs wood, charcoal, wheat, and other items on a near daily basis. In return the dwarfs share their riches from under the mountain. Rumor has it that King Jon has a magical weapon made of mithril that was gifted to his house from the dwarfs in ages past.

While the Cult of Thesia is found throughout the Twin Kingdoms, the largest religion of the North is that of the Old Ways. A pan animist cult with outdoor temples and shrines and a non-hierarchy clergy of druids.

Winterkeep and Candlekeep are the largest cities in the North. Both cities are fortified with a good castle and a strong garrison.  Thane Robert Windsor, cousin to King Jon, Lord of Candlekeep. The Drachenwald Forest begins near Candlekeep and runs for nearly 100 miles.  It is the largest forest in the Twin Kingdoms, however it has no elves. Which leads to speculation that it is not a magical place.  However the druids of the Old Ways have a different view.

A brave traveller heading towards Frostbearkeep. The Hold of Thane Fenn Rodrick, Lord of Frostbear.

Twin Kingdoms: The Wilds

In the fantastic realm of Aeyr at this time there are known to exist two kingdoms of men. They are commonly referred to as the Twin Kingdoms.  The Twin Kingdoms themselves are surrounded by an area known in the common tongue as the "Wilds" a magical realm that changes sometimes daily. One day there might be a snow covered forest at the eastern edge of Wolfthorn the next it will be a frozen wasteland. At times there are giant "forests" of briar needle vines surrounding Lionspride in the south, the next a blacked scorched lava pitted place. Sometimes a swamp, great lake or even an ocean will appear.  A few brave souls have dared to travel the Wilds and lived to return.  One man was gone for 20 years and returned not a day older. Another was gone for a night and returned a feeble old man. Naturally few dare enter. On occasion adventurers will brave the Wilds and return with great wealth, others never return.  The kingdom lands proper are stable from this calamity.

However, as men can enter the wilds so too on occasion do "Wildlings" enter the Twin Kingdoms.  Sometimes these wildlings are men common to us except in speech and manner. Other times there are foul creatures that spew forth and bring ruin with them. A few scholars have come entered the Wilds and returned and a few have come from the Wilds to remain with us. Some speculate the Wilds are simply other realms like ours that appear briefly and that we too appear briefly in their realm. Other suggest that the Twin Kingdoms are caught up in a magical vortex of some sort and that the end is nye.

This concept will allow me to add things at my desire to my fantasy campaign without a complete reworking of the world from scratch. I will still have a few odd side campaigns and one off battles like in the Battles of Westeros series, Pathfinder Adventures and my Orc Campaign of Grtiznak and his quest to conquer the Orcish Steppes.


A brave soul sets off on a quest for adventure in the Wilds.

Twin Kingdoms: House Lancaster


HOUSE LANCASTER
"HEAR ME ROAR"
KINGDOM OF LIONSPRIDE

The Kingdom of Lionspride, standard is crimson red with a golden fighting lion. The capital bears the kingdom name and its king is Tyrel I of House Lancaster. The motto of House Lancaster is "Hear Me Roar" which it proudly displays on its coinage. The army of House Lancaster wears a mix of chainmail and full plate armor.  The elite of the Lancastrian Army are the Lion Guard.  House Lancaster is the wealthier of the Twin Kingdoms dues to it's vast gold mines. The Lancastrian Army has been known to field war lions in battle.

The elven enclave living in the Feywald Forest lies in the southeast of the kingdom.  King Tyrel has made the forest off limits and forbade folks to enter under penalty of death.  Tyrel doesn't want a war with the elves and bears in mind he may need their help one day. Very little trade occurs although on rare occasion elves will venture out into the cities of men.  In the ancient past men and elves once marched together along with dwarfs to fight the evil necromancer Nekash.

The Holy City of Thesia falls also resides within the borders of Lionspride.  The city and the surrounding lands were gifted by House Lancaster to the Cult of Theseus in ages past.  The cult however is generally allowed a free hand to build temples and shrines throughout the kingdom maintained by their priests and a few bishops.

The largest city and capital is Lionspride. Situated between the gold bearing Lancaster Hills.  The city is ornate and the kings palace is a thing of pure splendor, a true sight to behold.  The next largest city is that of Foxcrest which lies south of the King's Forest. Duke Armand, younger brother of the king, rules the city.

A lionkeeper running through the countryside with two forest lions.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Battlelore 2nd Edition

Picked up a copy of BL2 from a trade on TMP. The models are nice and from what I've read are a little larger than the models in the first edition. Which hopefully I'll see soon as I'm bidding on one on eBay now. From what I've read the gameplay in BL2 is very different than Battles of Westeros (a BL clone.)  There are a couple of items, one I really like, the other I am not pleased with. First the unit cards are smaller than the the other game cards thereby taking up less space on the board. I really like that. However the board hexmap has the largest hexes I've ever seen for a Borg type game. Due to the board setup the terrain hexes are all large. Which means no mixing and matching with my previous C&C games like Memoir '44, Battles of Westeros, Battle Cry etc.  In fact this was the primary motivation behind ordering the 1st edition BL game to have standardized terrain tiles. I'll set the game up within a week and give it a go and will report my findings here.

One more item of fuss, the box is more or less just an empty compartment similar to Battles of Westeros with bags to keep models and cards separate. Whereas with Memoir '44 and others they gave you a box with compartments to keep everything neat and tidy.

BL2 made by FFG, BL1 was made by DoW.

Roc Warrior.
An Obscene (Chaos Brute)

Riverwatch Rider
Command card on the left, Lore card on the right.

Unit cards much better than the ones in BoW.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

GoT & Aeyr Redoux

I have decided to forgo a 15mm Game of Thrones campaign in favor of the Battles of Westeros game as it has the flavor and all the background needed.  Also my fantasy campaign of Aeyr will be reduced in size. I have finally heeded the sage advice of veteran wargamers and that is to start your campaign small.  So I will have two kingdoms surrounded by a magical realm.  More details in the next post.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Battles of Westeros - The Battle of the Green Fork

Robb Stark, King in the North.
"The outriders had warned us that a forced march was bringing the Starks to our camp earlier than we had anticipated. The change mattered little, as we were already waiting and well-prepared. When their army finally poured over the horizon to the sound of thundering drums, we saw a vast array of spearmen.

Charging through the rain of their archers' arrows, we tested the strength of their spears against the spirit and armor of our horses. It was certainly hazardous for us to ride into their lines this way, but once we had engaged them, they found themselves unable to withstand our onslaught of steel and steed." -Ser Clement Marbrand.

The Stark player wins if he has gathered 4 Strategic Locations and Stark morale is green or better at the end of round 5.

Ser Clement's account of the battle is not quite accurate.  While House Stark took a few casualties not a single unit was lost.  King Robb had achieved his victory conditions early on turn 4. However the last half of turn 4 saw one of his units fall back from strategic position while retreating from a Lannister charge, probably the one Ser Clement mentions.  At any rate the King quickly ordered another unit on turn 5 to move up and capture the vital position. House Lannister was unable to bring any further units against the Kings men on the right and his men in the center stood firm despite heavy casualties.