Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Demonworld Barbarians

School graduations are done, along with end of season sporting events for the kids, so now that we are moving into summer, its my hope that after the 4th of July that I can finally get back to gaming. Or at least upping my painting output, which has slowed down significantly - at the rate that I'm going now, it may be the Fall before I can put on the Hail Caesar fantasy game that I've been planning.

But, speaking of fantasy, here is a unit of 15mm Demonworld figures that I wrapped up. They are from the Warlords of Thain line, purchased from Red Brick Miniatures at

These are some really nice figures in my opinion, and they painted up very easily. They are also of a comparable size with the Copplestone barbarians I've already finished, so there should be no problem mixing them into the same army. The only negative is that the main pack only has two poses, but with the leader and hero figures mixed into the front rank, I think it makes for a rather handsome warband.

In addition, here is also a couple of photos of the mounted general figure:

Love the severed head hanging from the saddle!

These figures may be a little too GW in character for my taste, but still realistic enough that I certainly won't be embarrassed fielding them. I'll also be using them as spear armed warbands in my Norse-Irish medieval army.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Pride of Lions Impressions

A couple of weeks ago, Splintered Light Miniatures released the 2nd edition of their mass combat fantasy rules, "Pride of Lions". They were offered as a special deal for members of their Yahoo forum to pick up the PDF copy for $9.95, so that price was attractive enough for me to grab them on a lark so as to compare them to the other rulesets that I am contemplating for fantasy wargaming. I haven't had a chance to actually play the rules out on the tabletop, so my comments are certainly not a review, but simply my impressions of the game.

First off, I should say that I am a big fan of Splintered Light figures in general, and most specifically their historical ones. I've got a good part of my Late Imperial Roman army composed of their miniatures, and I've been adding to my Norse-Irish force with a significant component of their stuff. Their fantasy line is just great also. So, my thought was, if I liked their miniatures so much, I should at least give their rules a look over, especially with such an attractive price as they were offering.

Pride of Lions is a unit-based game aimed at 15mm scale, designed to be very fast moving, that is compatible with WRG basing. The author suggest using three 40mm square bases per unit in 15mm, but since only frontage matters, then this works directly with the bases I already use for games like Field of Glory or Warrior. Although the author includes some fluff for use with their line of figures (a bit cheesy in my opinion), the rules are really generic and can be used with any fantasy world players like. Shooting and combat is by opposed die rolls, with die types increasing or decreasing depending on unit quality, armor, or other circumstances. Other than a few special actions though, such as "plant spears" or "shield wall", weapon types are abstracted into the unit base die type - this is a little too abstract and generic for me, but I'm sure it does help to speed gameplay.

Movement and combat are simultaneous, and order chits are used in a manner very similar to that used in Command Decision to determine what actions a unit takes in a turn - such as charge, rush, or hold. Units have states such as disordered, shaken, or elated which are distinguished by markers, and the unit is removed once it is destroyed or leaves the table. Commanders issue orders, rally units, and allow units to form up in battle lines. Heroes help in combat, allowing for various rerolls in different circumstances.

The magic system is very detailed, filling almost half the rule book, but doesn't seem like it would dominate the game - acting more like a fantasy version of artillery, and sometimes helping with things like increasing unit morale.

All-in-all, Pride of Lions appears to be a very nice mass combat fantasy gaming system, that would allow for a large, multi-player game to be completed in a reasonably short amount of time. Since it has very simple mechanics, and the players on both sides are always involved, it would probably make for a nice set a rules to use for a convention game. It appears to be a little abstract though, and the unit types too vanilla for my taste, but I'd be happy to try them out sometime. For now though, I still think my primary fantasy rule choices are still either Hostile Realms or the Hail Caesar fantasy variant.

Finally, I do have one other complaint about Pride of Lions, although in all fairness, it doesn't really affect the rules themselves. The author is obviously a deeply religious Christian, and although I have no personal objection to that, there are several sections of the rules where these religious beliefs are rolled out in front of the reader as uncontested facts. I do find this mildly offensive - I paid for these rules after all, and when spending my money on something, I do not anticipate being subjected to proselytization without any forward warning. Like I said though, it doesn't ruin the rules, but it did rub me the wrong way.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Martha and the Barbarians

Not much new to post about except only another painted barbarian unit. The last couple of weeks, and most of the rest of June, are going to be too busy for essentially any gaming - the end of the school year is always incredible busy with obligatory family activities, and this year is even worse than usual with my oldest graduating from high school. We're dreading September when we have to pack her off to her first semester at college and the end of her childhood with us. Anyway, I have to attend a soccer game this afternoon for my youngest that is preventing me from choosing between two gaming options - one a large Napoleonic playtest with friends planning a Historicon game, and the other being a Field of Glory gaming day at a local gaming store. Although I definitely won't have time to play in either, I do hope to at least drop in on the FoG gaming and say hello to the guys.

I wouldn't normally have posted the photos below of yet another barbarian warband, since I'm sure my readers may be getting a bit bored of them by now, but these are a bit different because of some of the paints that I chose to use on them.  I do make use of some Vallejo paints, and the occasional GW one, but mostly I usually use inexpensive craft acrylic paints. My go-to brand for quite some time has been Delta Ceramcoat, purchased from the local Michaels hobby shops. Unfortunately, Michaels stopped carrying this line a few months ago and has replaced it with one marketed by, of all people, Martha Stewart. Reluctantly, I decided to give these paints a try. Surprisingly, I have been quite impressed.  They need to be thinned down quite a bit, but they have very good pigment and coverage.  The line is a bit limited in selection, but I purchased several 2 ounce bottles for only 79 cents each, so a price that is difficult to beat. I'll most certainly give more of these paints a try in the future. In the photos below, of another Splintered Light, spear-armed, Irish warband, most of the reds, greens, and browns are Martha Stewart paints. Works for me.