Well, we continued our Forgotten Pacts campaign last week, and it was *insane*.
Three of us again (Chris and I, plus Alex joined us for his first game of Frostgrave!), so we settled from the corners.
Three of us meant 9 treasures, so the board started with 9 barbarian berserkers. Every dead berserker spawned two more, and they started to add up fast. My warband killed about 10, and while Chris and Alex were less overwhelmed by barbarians than I was, they still took out a few each. Never mind appropriately armed miniatures, I had to use almost the entire bestiary I’d brought with me (we had boars and dogs counting as barbarian berserkers by the end).
Katie the Wolf was trying to get into this watchtower (there was a treasure on the top floor) when fresh barbarians started spawning on the nearby board edge. It was probably the most ‘popular’ spawning edge by a significant margin, and it meant she never made it to the tower door. She did manage to stem the tide for a few turns, though, and was responsible for about half the berserkers taken out by my warband.
My early game is often about sending a few fast soldiers to grab the treasures nearest my opponents. Playing this scenario again, I’d probably worry less about grabbing those treasures and instead focus on getting to those in the middle of the board. I definitely underestimated how quickly the berserkers would pile up (9 to start plus 16-18 double respawns means over 40 barbarian berserkers even *without* random occurrences), and I’d be pretty wary of those board edges in the future; every barbarian you take out near a spawn edge has basically a 50/50 chance of putting another one right on you.
Oh, and I lost another dog.
I must really like Infinity, because I don’t usually buy into multiple factions for the games I play, but here I am.
The arrival of Uprising brought a variety of new factions/sectorials, and since they include a mix of regular units and mercenaries, I already had a bunch of appropriate miniatures. My old Yu Jing demo list has been given a new purpose, as the Keisotsus, the Wu Ming, and the Ninja all have homes in the new Ikari Company, along with my Desperadoes and a few others. I probably had more models for StarCo, but the pull of Ikari was strong, especially because it gave me an excuse to track down Yojimbo.
No shortage of finicky bits on this thing. The baggage is suspended off the back of the seat, which is in turn pretty much suspended in midair. It looks cool as it comes together, but at first glance, the parts don’t even clearly indicate which end will be the front, haha. He also came with a pair of CrazyKoalas, which are significantly less finicky. Just a head to glue onto a body, and I feel like even that was probably not especially necessary. These guys probably could have been one-piece minis.
The most brutal bit of multi-part cruelty is the right handlebar, which is this super tiny piece that you’re supposed to glue on and then (I guess) hope never brushes against anything? Can you say Further Adventures in Pinning? For this little project, I broke out the 0.6mm bit and a staple.
The fact that I used a staple should give you some sense of scale where these pictures are concerned. The left handlebar is actually a part of the torso, and is molded into Yojimbo’s hand, but of course the right had to stand alone.
It has to stand alone because it needs to hold an insanely long sword, which I fully expect to cause problems forever. I’m tempted to leave the blade unpainted so that there’s no paint to chip when the blade inevitably bends.
But dang, it’s pretty.
The Wayback is back, and it’s taking the form of Mordheim! I’ve set my Dwarf Treasure Hunters aside this season, and have opted to run an Ostlander warband. It’s a little bit of a mess because I’m building around the models I want to use, which is resulting in some largely unimpressive axes and shields, but I’m enjoying the flavour of it all.
Say hello to Clan Spearhavok. The above photo was taken *after* my first game, so it does not include my clan Elder (leader), as he perished as a result of my very first game this season. Yep. Rayle, Breaker of Chains died in glorious single combat against a centaur. My very first post-game included one of my Blood Brothers becoming the new leader. The sassy dwarf’s name is Pip the Slayer, and she’s in charge now.
Other Heroes going into game 2 are Katie the Wolf (sword and long dagger in the front row), Gunnar the Long Fang (not pictured, he would join to fill Pip’s now vacant Blood Brother slot), and my Priest of Taal, Seventh of Dusk’s Talons (the Lord of the Feast miniature from a Hordes army I’ve never really done much with).
Henchmen groups are the Butchers of Ostland (two-handed weapons with wintery bases), the Reeking Mayhem (viking berserkers), the Kodiaks (sword/shield pair), and the Long Death (archers on either side). The rest of the pictures are from the second game.
Gunnar the Long Fang and one of the Butchers of Ostland have just dispatched an enemy after a charge; the Kodiaks duke it out with Mad Dog.
One of the Long Death prepares to take a shot. This first round of shooting resulted in brilliant hits for both members of the Long Death, but they mostly missed in subsequent rounds.
Pip the Slayer leads the second Butcher, Katie the Wolf, and the Reeking Mayhem toward the enemy.
Same crew, different angle. I was planning to finish painting Katie the Wolf the other night, but I ended up basing a bunch of stuff instead (including Katie herself, which would be why the evening went that way, haha).
I managed to fell the Ogre Bodyguard pretty quickly, but the opposing heroes proved to be a much bigger problem. The dice didn’t seem to be much on my side, and despite some valiant efforts made by my warband, I lost soundly.
Seventh of Dusk’s Talons, the Priest of Taal, was the most unfortunate. Never much skilled with a sword, Seventh found himself overwhelmed, suffering a crushed hand, a smashed leg, a chest wound, an old battle wound, and being blinded in one eye. It was determined that perhaps he lacks the will and ability to be the clan’s spiritual support in battle, and he has retired to a less involved role. His apprentice (The Jackal’s Teeth) has replaced him.
No Henchmen were killed, but one was found to show particular promise; Anja Born of Death has left the Butchers of Ostland to lead as a Kin-Hero.
Back in late November, I painted a Freebooter’s Fate amazon and promised another would follow. Perhaps this looks familiar?
Occepa’s on the right…
I actually got Occepa almost done, but then got sidetracked with other projects. She’s been sitting, partly finished, at the edge of my workspace. Taunting me a little. So tonight I finished her up. We’ll start at the beginning, though.
Occepa is a brilliant if awfully fidgety miniature. Lots of individual bits and pieces takes in a very cool model, but also lots of tiny crevasses and hard to reach surfaces.
She also looks gloriously sturdy. This is a woman you could imagine donning crocodile armour and washing into a melee. I did a lot of paint mixing for this one, so I don’t remember what all of the various painted were that I used, but that’s my old standby Vallejo Red Leather.
Try to imagine the process of painting the underside of that tail and the back of her ‘skirt’. Ugh.
Getting to the mouth and hair here. Finally very little primer showing (mostly in this aforementioned nooks and crannies).
That crocodile head ‘helm’ is huge, and definitely limits the angles from which you can even see her face. This is the point at which I’d left off before. I suspect I had a way and some drybrushing done, but it’s not very clear where I’ve started and the other begins, so I did those aspects all over again tonight.
You see? From the wrong (or right?) angle, she looks more like an anthropomorphic croc. This time around I drybrushed in a few, progressively lighter tones and I feel like it served as a nice halfway point between basic drybrushing and highlighting (still not a big fan of highlighting, especially where my own miniatures are concerned).
I did a tiny bit of highlighting after this, but this is pretty much the finished product. Occepa is finished, and will now be entered into the local shop’s monthly painting contest, where she’ll remain on display for the next couple months convincing people (I hope) to check out these Frostgrave games.
Until next time! (I have a bunch of half finished entries here so hopefully it shouldn’t take too long!
Another Death Race this week. Decided to run 50pts this time instead of 60 to put a little more crunch into the build process. B brought a truck and a buggy, both tricked out with turreted HMGs and extra armour. I brought a performance car and a buggy with lesser armaments but more tricks. Big Tires, Hell for Leather, lots of nitrous, all sponsored by Idris.
I was right fast, but messy as hell. He was slower but a lot cleaner.
I started with a pair of Hell for Leather induced Long/Slide/Spins. Bad news hazard-wise, but got me an early jump and a couple audience votes.
I followed up with a similar second phase (long/slide/spin for the Road Runner and a clumsy nitrous boost for the Manx), but both cars ended up wiping out. Even with the Big Tires, the treacherous terrain put me up over the line.
I used my 4 audience votes to pop both cars into 3rd and keep going. Decent plan for the buggy (it got itself back into the race), but a stupid mistake for the Road Runner. Its best option was a 3rd gear hairpin through that treacherous terrain, and the dice were not on my side. It wiped out again, flipping this time for some extra distance.
The Manx managed to gain a little ground without crashing into his teammate, but that was about it. We were both rolling pretty terribly during this match. B’s truck and buggy continued to prove the value of slow and steady.
The Manx wiped out again, but not before covering a decent bit of distance. This time it was its turn to flip for an extra few inches.
This bright is to the end of Turn 1; B’s team also had some bad rolls and neither got out of 4th gear.
Snapped that photo a little early, apparently, so I added the Manx’s movement. It tucked nicely into the high – risk shortcut that I built into the second corner (I put one of these in the first game I played with C, and it made for some hilarious levels of mayhem).
The Road Runner’s reverse turn fell apart when I misjudged the size of the slide template and wound up sitting next to a bunch of exploding barrels. My spin would no longer get me where I needed to be, so instead I used it to line up a shot. Now I’d be going into the 2nd phase still facing the wrong way.
The Manx cleared the shortcut, but wiped out in the process. The Road Runner got in a ram, but at this point was surrounded by turreted HMGs that were starting to come on line as they crossed that first gate.
At this point the Manx was stuck in first and the Road Runner was taken apart by multiple HMGs. B’s truck and buggy continued their advance.
Further sitting for the Manx, and B’s cars/HMGs drew ever closer. They were still in 4th gear, so this brought Turn 2 to a close.
This is it, my bitter end. Forward wasn’t an option this time and even a short reverse left me in the turret-path of B’s advancing buggy. He told some 6’s, and I didn’t. With only the two of us playing, we didn’t bother with respawns, so this was the game.
That’s two Idris losses in a row for me. I think I’m getting overly hung up on trying to maximize certain aspects while ignoring other factors. Hell for Leather is certainly a way to generate Idris audience votes, but a bike can do the same thing for the same points, and is a whole extra vehicle. An HFL monster truck can use it to more easily trample/clear other vehicles, but cars are just getting a couple of template boosts. The free shift results coming out of the medium template are probably worth using it instead (I was picking up so many hazards I ended up using all my votes just to stay in the game anyway).
Weapons are the other issue here. I wanted more points for perks, so I avoided turreting any weapons, but I was so far ahead that my front facing HMG was generally useless and it was hard to find a good opportunity to drop caltrops.
I’ll have to give some more thought to future builds. The Manx wasn’t bad (although the HFL points would be better spent elsewhere) but the Road Runner was pretty much a hodgepodge of mismatched ideas (admittedly I just wanted to field that build because I like how it looks, which might not have been a very strategic plan, haha).
Until next time, here’s a final shot of this crew:
My latest start-to-finish project is a Hot Wheels Meyers Manx. It’s actually my second Manx; the first I left pretty much stock.
Other than popping some Stan Johansen figures into it, I haven’t done much. I expect I’ll paint the figures (and seats) at some point, but I don’t expect I’ll do much beyond that. It looks fun as is, so why change anything?
The new one was a little beat up, with the roll bar missing and the windshield broken so it seemed like a great opportunity to go nuts. What better place to start than a wheel swap?
The wheels came off a Matchbox MBX 4×4 with ‘Panthera Trackers’ emblazoned across the hood. It will become a wreck. Obviously there was no way those wheels were going to fit in the original slots. Not only were the wheel wells too shallow, but I had to alter the wheelbase as well; I opted to cut new slots on the outside with a hacksaw.
This let me keep the axles intact. They nestled into place quite well, and I used some green stuff to secure them afterwards.
I also added a bit of plating to cover the windshield gap and the missing roll bar, and gave the car a matt varnish in preparation for painting. Primer followed close behind.
For crew I used a couple of Ramshackle miniatures. I’m not a huge fan of the resin he uses (it’s very brittle and I found it more awkward to work with than other resins), but apparently it’s one of the reasons he can keep his prices as low as they are, so I’ll make do. They looked pretty decent once they were painted up, especially considering how tiny they are. There’s not a lot of room in the Manx; I actually had to trim some of the dashboard off in addition to the steering wheel, just to get the driver to fit. Had to trim his steering wheel back as well.
I also added some extra exhausts to the car (they came off some weird little dollar-store-looking garbage car that I got in a thrift baggie). I almost added an oversized engine block poking through the hood before I remembered the engine is in the back. The car itself got a Vallejo Turquoise paint job (no idea why I bother, haha), and a combo of GW’s Agrax and Reikland are used for a wash layer. Looked pretty rough at that point, but I was planning to rust this one pretty heavily so it wouldn’t be a big issue in the long run.
Look at these little monsters!
This brought me to the rust/dirt portion of the project. Some matt medium mixed with my favourite Vallejo pigments, followed with some of GW’s Agrellan Earth for dirt and dust, and we’re ready to go!
And for easy comparison, here’s a before and after using a stock photo; in really happy with how this little fellow turned out. Manx II is ready to rumble!
Thought I’d try some new options last night, and took a car, a bike, and a monster truck up against B’s truck and car. I brought a couple of rams and some perks; he brought turret-mounted rockets and HMGs.
Things got messy real fast. His pickup (Optimus) made a quick left to try and get away from my monster truck, but Wile E there gunned it over the car and slid into Optimus anyway (3 cheers for Hell for Leather).
The first half of the race was definitely going well for me. I was setting a solid pace and leaving Optimus and Ecto far behind. Probably should have been a lock but I made a couple of big errors that got me torn apart. The first was that I tried to put my car into too sharp a turn while in 4th gear; the Medium template B handed me in combination with a bad skid check left my car sliding right off the course.
A short while after that I forgot how fragile Bikes are and let myself wipe out in a high gear with only 2 bull points remaining. I had the shift dice available to drop into second, but didn’t think about that until after our already resolved everything. Sure enough, the Bike flipped and wrecked, leaving only poor Wile E to try and finish the race.
Unfortunately the track put him in range of Optimus right as the pickup cleared the first gate, and my poor Monster Truck was pummeled by rockets taking 5 damage, reducing him to 4 remaining hull points. I tried using audience votes to drown Optimus in hazards (he was a half inch from hitting a fence) but his Thunderous Applause cleared him completely, and I couldn’t get far enough away in time to prevent my taking another barrage of rocket fire.
Since it was just the two of us playing, we didn’t bother with respawns, and called the game in B’s favour since I was out of cars. Till next time!