30 June 2011

On the hobby table: end of June

I was looking around at the carnage of my hobby table and decided it was time to take stock of the current WIPs and where I'm going with them.

In progress:
Pig pen and enclosure 80% complete
Horse stable 75% complete
Holy Relic (large Celtic cross statue) - 80% complete
Viking funeral cart 20% complete (cleaned up and built, awaiting undercoat)
Feast table and benches 20% completed
Hay Stacks 1% complete (I bought the materials!)
Watchtower 1% complete
Properly base all the figs - I have a bunch of magnetised bases, just have to get get stuck into the hundred or so figs!  Most are now actually stuck onto them, which will also help safe storage and transport, but now I have to do all the fiddly bits.

Up and coming
Viking Longship -  I finally got one of those lovely Gripping Beast resin jobs!
Viking Knarr - as above
2 resin  Buildings - again by Gripping Beast

The 'to do' list
some animal enclosures
some animals to inhabit aforementioned enclosures!
a veggie patch or two
interior detailing of the Saxon Church
More A-frame style buildings
a couple of small, elevated storehouses

The 'Wish' list
a Mead/Great Hall!
Palisade defences to enclose the village
a tented camp
a baggage train of mules and horses
a turf roofed house

That little lot will keep me busy until Christmas and beyond, but if I get anywhere near to finishing off that list I'll be as proud as Punch!

29 June 2011

A History of the Vikings

A HUGE thank you this week to David from A Wargaming Odyssey, who sent me this great book (though a slightly earlier edition) - yes mate it has arrived and just a few days ahead of my Birthday too, so its a wonderful start to the celebrations!

As I understand it, this is one of the seminal works of Viking culture, history and campaigns throughout Europe, with many a saga, map and illustration within - can't wait to get stuck into it!


PS The Lad thinks its cool too!

28 June 2011

New Dinotruppen!

I've been trying REALLY hard to stay focused on the Dark Ages, but I just had to post these: the latest releases from Eureka Miniatures in their Jurassic Reich line - awesome!
Stukasaurus with Luftwaffe pilot and 37mm Anti-tank gun

Stukasaurus with Luftwaffe pilot and rear gunner

27 June 2011

My Kingdom for a Norse!

At the recent Wappinshaw and Carronade wargame shows, the Kirriemuir Wargames Club ran a participation game called "A Norse! A Norse! A Kingdom for my Norse!".  Have a look at the wonderful scenery - quite spectacular by any standard, but particularly so for a participation game.  Not sure what rules they used (Anyone know?).

There was also some other cracking looking games there, including a lovely 3D Space Hulk
And no, I didn't go (!) but I thought this was of sufficient Dark Ages gaming interest to generate a blog entry. The pics above were compiled from the following posts and are used with thanks!



26 June 2011

Dark Age paper buildings

Expand your Saxon or Viking village quickly with these neat paper models.
They also make good plans for scratchbuilds.


25 June 2011

Dropping in For a Slash.....

In answer to Paul's question,my drop pods were the star performer in my first game with them, dropping in early on Turn 2 next to an objective (gotta love that Hive Mind targeting control) and disgorging the Tyranid Warriors straight into the thick of it...the Ripper Tentacles on top had a field day hacking into any Guardsmen that strayed too close... The second pod dropped in on turn 4 and unloaded 15 screaming Termagaunts armed with 3-shot Devourers right into the thick of it....the Ripper Tentacles on the pod managed to tear a hole in the nearby Imperial Guard Hellhound , stunning the crew for a turn (well, you would be)...sadly it felt the full force of nearly every IG Lasgun the following turn, and collapsed in on itself, huge holes torn through it.. Will be a few more weeks before their next encounter during which time I might even paint them......any tips on what colour the ooze should be? My base colour for the pods is dark red....

24 June 2011

SAGA Viking Age Skirmishes Update

Gripping Beast have just provided this update in their weekly newsletter:

SAGAIts a long running saga...

Final preparations are underway for the release of SAGA later this summer.

Not only do we have the rather lovely rule-book (that comes with four sturdy Battle Boards, one each for Vikings, Anglo-Danish, Welsh & Normans,) but we will also be releasing the relevant ranges in SAGA friendly formats. And then there are of course the special faction specific dice....

In SAGA, you muster your faithful retainers in easy steps, making several choices from four highly skilled hearthguard, eight stalwart warriors or twelve less-than-ferocious levy with each choice costing 1 point. Starter warbands are 4 points and the average is 6.

As you can see, the composition is pretty much up to you as Warlord and to make things even easier we will be sorting suitable models from our ranges into 1 point packs (eg 4 Hirdmen, 8 Bondi or 12 bowmen for the Vikings.) To get yourself up and running as soon as possible, we will also be putting together Starter Box Sets that contain a balanced 4 point warlord & warband plus all the appropriate weapons and shields AND a  Renedra plastic base for each of the figures.

We will also be releasing a SAGA Paint set that we have developed in conjunction with our chums at Army Painter. This set contains 10 specific paints which, when used in conjunction with Army Builder's Warpaints Starter Set, will give you all you need to paint your Dark Age figures with historically authentic pigments.
Anglo Danish starter Waband
Pictured above, Lord S's 4 point Anglo-Danish Warband resplendent in their LBMS transfers and painted using the SAGA paint set.

To round it off we will be offering loads of discounted bundle deals but more of this in a special SAGA-tastic Newsletter coming shortly.....

but if you can't wait then keep an eye on Wargames Illustrated, WSS and Battlegames as they will all be running articles on SAGA in the coming issues. Also take a look at the Tomahawk Studios web-site, home of Alex Buchel who designed SAGA (don't worry, there is an English language option!) and go to his blog. We will also be contributing to the site soon.

23 June 2011

Dark Ages Fencing

At his "The Wargames Table" blog, Matt shows off his DA Village, including a neat 'How To' section for fencing - thanks Matt!

21 June 2011

Winter Solstice

is today for us in the southern hemisphere, which means that for our northern hemisphere friends it is the Summer Solstice - the longest day of the year.  For Vikings today is a:

Celebration of the Summer Solstice, when the power of the Sun is at its height.  It was at this time that most foreign trade was conducted, as well as shipping, fishing expeditions, and raiding.  Thus, Midsummer was the festival of power and activity.  It was not without its dark side as well.  Midsummer was recognized as the longest day of the year; thus, the year began to age after this time and the days grow progressively shorter.  The god Baldur is said to have been sacrificed at this time, but is reborn at Jul; the hero Sigurd was also said to have been slain by treachery at Midsummer by his blood-brothers Hagan and Gunthur (Gundahar).

 Wherever you are, its a good excuse for feasting, merriment and mead!

Photographing terrain

Another neat series of articles about taking pics, from basics to special effects.  I am again reminded that I need to sort out my lighting if I ever want to do anything about improving my images

20 June 2011

Man Cave Revegetation Project

So what gaming things have I been up to recently in the Man Cave?  I painted up and flocked these lovely resin tree bases (which I got from the ever friendly Mike from Battlefield Accessories).
I have left the trees removable from the bases for ease of storage, and I think the furs and Nordic pines are just right for Viking gaming!

19 June 2011

Mycetic Spore Pod Scratch Build

Inspired by Pauls recent scratch build efforts, and motivated by needing a few drop pods for my Warhammer 40K Tyranid army, I set about building myself a couple of mycetic spore pods from household items. GW has not yet released models for all the units available in the Tyranid COdex, so prospective Hive Minds have to convert or scratchbuild in order to use some of the more useful units. I scavenged 2 x 1.25 litre soft drink (soda pop) bottles which were about the right dimenisons I felt for a pod capable of carrying the largest Tyranids into battle. My recent experience with a hot glue gun, a device my 8 year old daughter was only too happy to teach me to use,solved the gluing issues and also provided an excellent opportunity to model ooze and discharge from the pods control vents. A few spare scything talons and terrain pieces from my bitz box , and a couple of scratched CD's completed the materials. I attempted to model a door/opening in the living pod, through which the passengers disembarked, with mixed results. Lesson 1 was wait until each line of glue had cooled sufficiently (aprox 2-3 mins) before placing the next line right next to it, otherwise they blend together in a molten mass....once I worked that out though, the second door was closer to what I was trying to recreate... Next job is trying to work out what colours to use to paint it...brownish yellow ooze anyone??

18 June 2011

Gone Viking!

OK, more like being off camping for the weekend with my Cub Scouts...

...but we are travelling in boats to a small island - there will be plunder and penguins but not so much ravaging I'm thinking!

I wonder how long it will take them to build me a Longhall...

17 June 2011

New DA Buildings

by Architects of War, who make other really nice stuff including the village well I made earlier this year (see here).  I quite like these, but all humility aside think my own efforts and those of others around the blogosphere, are just as good.

16 June 2011

Under a Blood Red Moon

Got up just a little earlier today to watch the lunar eclipse and the moon turn a eerie, blood red.  Surely this is a sign that Ragnarok is almost upon us?  ...or have I been playing too many Viking games lately....

Evidently the Herald Sun takes better pictures than me!

15 June 2011

Hay Stacks

Welcome to our recently joined followers and newest denizens of the Man Cave!  Among you is the talented 'cabxter' who resides in the frozen wastes of Alaska.  Clever chap that he is, he has developed an ingenious  method of making cheap Hay Stacks using....coconut husk bedding used in hamster cages

Clever eh? They look great too
See how he made them and enjoy other great stuff at his blog here:

First I start with coconut husk bedding used in hamster cages.  This can be picked up at most pet stores or markets.  I got mine at a Fred Meyers and paid like $5 for four sheets.  You will also need a hobby knife, super glue and scissors.


First cut off a one inch to two in piece, depending on how tall you want the stack.  I went with about an inch and a half.


Next fold on corner over so the short end is touching the long end.  In the triangle that is formed by the fold apply glue.


Then fold the other corner over onto the glue.  If you use a glue with a zip kick give it a squirt.


Your hay stack should look like this.


It wont sit flat on the ground so trim the bottom with the scissors so it make a cone.  Go ahead an trim and large or loose pieces of coconut while your at it.


And thats it, repeat unit you have had enough.  I did eight in about 25 minutes.


If you want you can flock up a washer and glue them down to give them some weight, but I skipped that part because it takes a bit more time than my evening allowed.

Here they are with a tank.


I hope you all learned something and this post is beneficial.  Like I said depending on how much husk you cut off you can make these work from 15mm to 40mm. 

13 June 2011

The Tax Man Cometh - Part 2

Viking Berserker 
If you missed Part 1 of this Battle Report, look here:

When we last left our heroes, the Lad was embroiled in a fight around the Bishop's residence, Ken and Owen were fighting their way to Church, and my warband was being systematically destroyed by a ferocious, foul-tempered bunny....

The Lad managed to fight off the Saxon defenders and a bunch of reinforcements, and in fact did so without taking a single casualty.  He then packed up all the goodies into a handy cart (actually two handy carts, but he realised he couldn't make it with two carts and dumped one) and then began a slow withdrawal in good order while an increasingly large mob of Saxons tried to build up enough courage to charge the Viking line.

Back at the Church, the Vikings decimated the first Saxon shieldwall, and advanced upon the next wave, who sensibly hunkered down around the Church entrance to use the stone walls to secure their flank.

And while his oar-mates were being dispatched by the foul rodent, my Champion had challenged the Saxon garrison commander to single combat!

Dueling at the Village Crossroads
My boys then went on to mop up the rest of the Saxon defenders, burst into the Church and slay the pesky Tax Collectors (much to the chagrin of Ken and Owen, whose boys were still engaged outside the Church).  After a turn or two scooping up all the gold the could carry, these two jumped out the back window of the Church and scarpered into the woods!
Inside the church - the comfy chair was very temping to outfit the Dragonship!
Meanwhile the shieldwalls clash outside the Church

Meanwhile, back at the Cave entrance I finally managed to scare off (scare off, not dispatch mind you!) the evil bunny, and finally enter the cave... (This was a fantastic bit of terrain Pete had made up in a box lid)  The glittering of treasure on one side was offset by the hideous visage of the 3 stooges Troll in the other corner!
The Cave of Wonders!
A cautious advance ....
"Intruders? Why I oughta..."
Luckily for me, the Troll put up less of a fight than the Rabbit and my Hersir dispatched the gruesome foe.
At this time, the Saxon Army Commander and his continent of Huscarls dramatically entered the board, intent on stopping this unwanted incursion and taking back the stolen tithe!

A mighty Saxon Hero leads his men!
As they entered the Fray, Ken and Pete were mopping up with shieldwall, and Ken called out the Mighty Hero to a duel which went back and forth for a few turns as the two combatants were closely matched.
And the Lads lads got their cart over the ford in the stream, just as more Saxons came on to oppose them:

An angry Harold the Missionary leads more men to take back the Church's gold
But the fearsome Vikings challenge them from the other bank, and their courage fails them!
At this point the Saxon hero fell the Ken's axe and the Saxon defences crumbled.  Having looted the Church, the Cave and the Bishop's residence, the Vikings had taken a good haul of loot and made their way back to the Dragonships.  The funeral pyres burned brightly on the beach for some of my departed lads.

Battle Epilogue: Hours later in in misty dusk, the Saxon hero regained consciousness, having been left for dead on the battlefield.  Binding a serious wound on his leg, he knew the Ealdorman's wrath would fall upon him for loosing the tithe revenue.  Swearing vengeance upon the Northmen, eternal hatred for them would burn deeply...