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Saturday, 11 January 2020

Silmarillion Gaming Day in Nottingham

Headed up to Nottingham today to join a merry throng of chaps to play a couple of Silmarillion games using two 'work in progress' rule sets. Both games were set during the Fifth Battle of Beleriand, Nirnaeth Arnoediad - 'Unnumbered Tears'. Both scenarios were originally in Miniature Wargames magazine written by Graham Green, rule writer, figure painter/converter/sculptor extraordinaire. Graham ran the Last Stand of Hurin and the Men of Dorlomin using his figures (well, plus my trolls) and his rules, which was basically the last act off the battle. James Morris ran Gwindor's Charge, the opening part of the action. In the real battle, the Elves and men took a complete pasting. Would we repeat 'history' today?

My first game was Hurin's Last Stand. I took the evil force along with a chap called Matt. We took on Tom WD who commanded the Men plus a couple of units of Elves. The scenario was basically that the Elves of Gondolin were retreating from the lost battle and Hurin, his brother Huor and their warriors were to hold off the Orcs to allow their escape. A couple of Elf units were on hand to lend ranged support. The evil army had the option to recycle units to represent the unending stream of troops available. We basically had to control the two fords over the river and as as secondary objective, we had to capture Hurin for Morgoth. If we could get Huor too, so much the better! Everything else had to die!
In the event, Tom threw some shocking dice and the valiant men of Dorlomin died helplessly and very fast, but the Elf archers eventually slowed us down enough so that we couldn't control both fords by the end of turn 8.
Great game and Graham's rules worked pretty well. they are very different to what I'm used to, but I quite enjoyed this, the second time I'd played with them. I only took a handful of pics of this small-scale game. The men in these pics are Graham's conversions of Oathmark humans with greenstuff cloaks, replaced heads and mail armour sculpted from greenstuff over the models' original armour.

After a hearty pub lunch, it was on to the second battle. This was Gwindor's Charge with James Morris' home-brewed rules. The Orcs had been tasked with drawing king Fingon's Elf/Men army out from their position in the wooded hills in order to facilitate their destruction by Morgoth's reserve forces. To do this, they had dragged Elf captives in front of the Elves and decapitated them. Unfortunately, the brother of one of the captives was in the Elf line at this point. Enraged by the murder of his brother, he led a colossal attack with his cavalry, followed by most of the Elves and men. Determined to exact revenge, he headed straight for the Orc leader who had murdered his brother. That was the Elf objective - kill the murdering Orc and get as many units off the table through the Orc lines as possible before one side or other ran out of 'reputation', which is how James' rules determine victory. The Orcs had to stop them! Once again, I fought on the side of evil. A handful of my Orcs were in the horde (we had SO many Orcs that mine, other than heroes and a few archers, weren't needed) but my Elves were in the opposing army. 

In the end, we held the Elf charge, with only King Fingon's cavalry unit looking certain to exit the table before the game ended with us losing our last reputation token. We'd certainly held the Elf onslaught (which is more than what happened in the 'real' battle) so we claimed it as a minor Elf victory - tens of thousands of Orcs and evil men would soon be arriving to reinforce our line and overwhelm the hated Noldor and their allies!

Here are the opposing battle lines at the start of the game...

Gwindor's charge...

...which is eventually held with the destruction of his personal retinue and much of his heavy cavalry.

Here are some more pictures from the battle, including my Elves in the alliance battle line. 

Fantastic day! Really enjoyed both games. We're planning another later in the year and our collections may make an appearance at wargame shows during the year!

Friday, 10 January 2020

WANTED! 28mm Plastic ancient/medieval cloaks

Can any of you lovely lot help?

I'm planning a quite exciting 28mm plastic kit bash project and need cloaks. Ideally those from Victrix or Fireforge's ancients/dark ages/medieval kits. They'll be going onto Victrix bodies, which gives you an idea of the specific scale I'm using.
If you have any spare unused examples, and if you are happy to help, pop a reply on here and we'll negotiate prices, postage costs etc. Cheers!

Thursday, 9 January 2020

More for Morgoth!

The forges of Angband have been busy since Christmas in preparation for a Middle Earth gaming event in Nottingham on Saturday. I painted a second unit of pike-armed Orcs and two units of Orc archers plus an Orc hero. The pike-armed Orcs were tidied up having been bought from EBAY part-painted as per most of my Orc forces. One Uruk-hai scout archer in one of the units was the same. The Mordor Orc archer models and the hero were painted from scratch. I now have 8 combat Orc units - 2 with pike, 2 with spear and the rest with sword, 3 Orc archer units, a unit of trolls, 3 Orc heroes, a Werewolf hero and a firedrake. I have two units of wolf riders in the painting queue. Quite a decent force! Here are pics of the recent additions.

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Happy New Year!

Well, I have no idea if anyone is actually reading this stuff any more... But I'm gonna keep posting anyway.

2019 has been an interesting year! I finally managed to move out of the family home in June - a full 13 months after my separation from my wife. Got myself a nice little place round the corner. It's not quite feeling 100% like home yet, but I'm almost there. I've managed to sort my mental health out too. Again, I'm not 'cured' but I'm about 400% better than I was in 2018, so I guess that's great progress. That also meant I managed to do some hobby stuff in 2019 as my poor mental state had pretty much curtailed any and all that in 2018 and to be honest for much of the preceding .two years.

I've posted more in December 2019 than in the entire of 2018. I've also done more posts in total in 2019 than in the last two years. I've managed to fully paint 26 Elves and to part-paint or fully paint 42 Orcs and 3 trolls. Quite some going especially since that lot has pretty much been done since October!! More in three months than in the last several years!

I have another 21 Orcs and 24 Elves in the painting queue, intending to complete those by March 2020 ready for my Davale Miniatures Bloody Elves Kickstarter to arrive. When that lot (about another 30 Elves) is done that will give me two good Middle Earth forces, although I do need cavalry for both. Warg riders are being assembled as we speak and I'm mulling over options for Elves.

Mike (Trouble at t' Mill) and I are also planning to pick up our Dux Brit campaign again this year so watch out for that.

I'll leave you with this. Tonight, my son, who is 11, decided he wanted us to do some drawing. He has a cousin (16 years old) who is a demon artist and who really inspired him when they met recently and as I'll do anything to get my lad off tech, I agreed. He sat down to copy Azog from the Hobbit films and Chewbacca from Star Wars while I sat down to draw out my vision of what a First Age Silmarillion Noldor Elf would actually look like. I kinda based it on what I read in The Silmarillion, the Victor Ambrus pictures from the old Tolkien Bestiary by David Day, a bit from the LoTR movies (I do like the Elf armour/clothing in those and The Hobbit films - not at all 'right', but good anyway) and a bit from what I know of Dark Ages armour. I hadn't drawn properly in years, especially not a humanoid figure that wasn't a caricature, but actually, it turned out pretty well. If only I could afford to commission a really great sculptor to do a small range like this...

Anyway, I'll leave you with the drawing and wish you all a very happy, healthy and hobby-filled 2020

Monday, 30 December 2019

More for Morgoth: Orc Pikes.

More progress on the army of Angband. Some Pike-armed Orcs today. Bought from EBAY with armour neatly drybrushed and flesh base coated. I tidied up the armour, highlighted the flesh and painted all the other bits. It's amazing what you get done with a couple of child-free days!
I have one more unit of these on the painting table, plus 2 units of 4 archers that I want to get done by 11th January... Hope I can make it. I have my lad with me for the next 6 days so will not get so much painting time...

Sunday, 29 December 2019

The Forces of Angband Multiply - Trolls

The forges of Angband are working overtime over the holiday period! I finished a unit of trolls... The GW hill troll was painted 6 or 7 years ago and I needed 3 more for a unit so decided to buy a pack of Last Alliance plastics - £10 for 4 soft plastic trolls. 
To be fair, the plastic is kinda 'medium' plastic. It took a bit of work to clean up the flash, etc (possibly because my knife blade needs replacing, possibly because the plastic is a weird consistency - probably a bit of both) but they painted up really well! And I still have one left over if I want a unit of 4 with a Troll leader... 
PS these trolls are from 'War Trolls set 3' - Last Alliance do several troll sets...

Wednesday, 25 December 2019

The Forges of Angband - Orcs Multiply!!

I've been painting Orcs the past couple of weeks. Like most of the army of Morgoth figures in my collection, these were all purchased part-painted from EBAY and I've tidied them up.

The unit of Morannon Orcs and Uruk Hai swordsmen were a mixed bag. The Morannon Orcs were reasonably neatly basecoated, had been ink washed and highlighted, again quite neatly. I just had to sharpen up the highlights and neaten things up a bit, plus repainting all the tunics which were bright red when they came to me - way too bright for bog standard Orcs so I repainted them in a variety of colours. The Uruk Hai models were a bit of a mess - mostly just badly dry brushed in metallics and some skin tones. To be honest I probably should have started again with them, but figured I could 'lose' them in amongst the rank and file so just fixed them as best I could. They look ok in amongst all the others.

The unit made up from Uruk Hai Scouts were nicely base coated with some decent single highlights. It was an easy job to sharpen the highlights up neatly. However, all the clothing had been painted black and  it was just too much, so I repainted bits of clothing in either Foundry Rawhide or Deep Leather Brown triad to break up the black. Those without shields were given the freebies I received in War-games Illustrated a few months back - a sprue of Warlord Games Veteran Roman Legionaries. I think these look good on these models. I also added a standard (I'm basically doing one standard for every two units) which ended up looking pretty cool, I think.

I now have 6 such units fully painted with two units of Uruk Hai pikemen awaiting my attention. I also have a unit of 4 archers finished and two more units to paint, plus a unit of trolls to finish. I also have enough models for two units of 4 warg riders in my bits box, plus a couple of Orc heroes. A tidy little force for playing James Morris' homespun rules or Dragon Rampant.