Monday, September 17, 2018

Death in a Gorilla-Haunted Jungle Clearing

Joel's Squirrels arrive first and survey the battlefield, eyeing the Central Treasure with the pirate loot
After freeing the prisoners of the Ratmen, the Raccoons and Squirrel crews agreed to share the information they provided. As it turned out, the prisoners belonged to a notorious pirate and treasure hunter -- who none mourned as he lay slain by the ratmen. However, the Raccoons and Squirrels were able to convince the freed crewmen into telling them the location of their buried treasure. They immediately set sail for the island, little realizing the Mice, Pine Marten, Jungle Rat, and Crushers crews were tailing them.
The archway of the Central Treasure was hotly contested by the Mice and the Pine Martens
According to the survivors of the pirate crew, the captain's treasure lay buried beneath a massive stone archway, decorated with stone heads staring out in all directions. Six ships anchored off the island, and six crews crept stealthily through the jungle. The haunting sounds of gorilla calls made the treasure seekers nervous, as they searched for the archway. We were playing "X Marks the Spot" from the Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago rulebook. We used one central treasure and then each player placed two minor treasures. All began 31 inches from the central treasure, though only the Pine Martens and the Mice seemed to move towards it in the early going.
The Crushers' Hunter Yoti, at top, and Badger crewman Buckey eyeball a treasure to see if others will go for it
Since we had five players, I stepped in to make it an even six, using my Crushers crew that fared relatively poorly last time. In addition, I realized I had not even spent my Heritor's experience -- d'oh! Still, we had a successful outing. We decided to be flexible and move forward without making a beeline for any particular treasure. We had the Pine Martens on our right, and our nemesis the Mice on our left. With both our neighbors going all out for the central treasure, that left us with the opportunity to snatch up a number of minor ones.
Bentley secures the treasure while Yoti sneaks around the giant stone stature to stalk another treasure he spotted
I not-so-wisely sent both my Wolverine Heritor Hugh, and Wolverine Warden Jack, off by themselves, splitting my group as far as command and control. Hugh used Wraithwalk a number of times to move through thick patches of jungle with no penalty. Jack cast Beast Strength on most of the crew, after another "successfull" Beast Call. To my friends' amazement (and amusement), I continued to defy the odds on rolling up a random encounter after successfully casting Beast Call. If the last game went 6-7 turns, then this one went about the same. It wasn't until the final turn of this game that I actually rolled a 10+ on a 20-sided die to summon a random encounter. That is about 11 straight misses on a 50//50 chance!
Our nemesis, the Mice crew, snag a treasure early on...while unfortunately leaving their Warden to snipe at us again with lighting bolts!
Still, some monsters showed up after players quickly began snatching up treasures. Two gorillas and a Frog-man Warrior showed up, with each monster killing a crew members. This was a fairly lethal game, with the hated Mice losing their Heritor an almost losing their Warden. Specialist crew members from two other crews died, as well. My Crushers were doing great, though. We suffered no casualties and managed to snatch up four treasures -- the most of anyone. Along the way, we wrought vengeance on the Mice -- whose Warden continued to take Lightning Bolt potshots at us whenever he had the chance. My hunter Yoti and Warden Jack ambushed him, though, wounding him and forcing him to use Windwalk to get away.
This time we counter-attacked the Mice vermin! Yoti delivers a deep wound to their Warden, while Jack prepares to engage one of their crewmen (who would later be finished off by Yoti)
Buckey and Bentley, my loyal Badger crew members, each snagged a treasure and made it off-table. Both Yoti and the Heritor Hugh grabbed treasures, then dropped them to go Mice Hunting. Eventually, both made their way back to their treasures. With the Mice Heritor dead and the Warden fleeing the table, we decided to call it a victory and withdraw.
Two members of the Jungle Rats crew advance past a large, stone idol in search of treasure
Meanwhile, the battle between the Mice and the Pine Martens for the central treasure went back and forth. The Pine Marten Heritor grabbed it and moved off, only to be chased down by a Wraithwalking Mice Heritor. A deep gash from the Mice Heritor's two-handed sword, saw the Pine Marten summoning his crew to his aid. Two responded, but the Mice had the better of the three in the second round, as well. Frustrated, the Pine Marten Warden cast Wind Blast and hurled the Mouse nuisance away. A crossbow bolt and Raccoon arrow weakened the Mouse Heritor, who decided to flee. The Raccoon archer took one long range shot at him as he fled into the jungle and amazingly scored a hit, dropping him.
The Jungle Rats' Warden secures a treasure, which will be handed off to a crewmen to carry back to their ship 
After losing one crewman to the Frog Warrior, the Squirrel Heritor charged into the fray and cut the interloper down. Content with one treasure, the Squirrels then withdrew from the clearing. Another gorilla had appeared, and with Raccoon arrows flying everywhere, they decided to the call it a day. The Jungle Rats were dodging the attacks of gorillas, and cursed as the Pine Martens disappeared with the central treasure. They moodily and reluctantly withdrew, shaking their fists at the harassing fire of the Raccoons. All crews except the Squirrels got at least two treasures, with my Crushers taking four and the Squirrels one. As more gorilla calls rang out through the jungle, the treasure hunters decided to hurry back to their ships with what they'd found.
Although in position to contest for the central treasure, the Squirrels decided to hang back and fight off the Frog Warrior who wandered into the glade
After the game, the players decided to increase our crew size from five to six. We felt that we needed more because a crewman who takes a treasure off board is lost for the rest of the game. We made it a point to move more quickly, and have multiple players taking their turns at once if they were far away from each other. This six-player game lasted about 2 1/2 hours, which is about what we want on a Sunday evening. Two specialist crewman died and the Mouse Heritor ended up with a permanent leg injury. Otherwise, the only casualties were standard crewmen. The players seem to be picking up the rules more now, plus it helps two of my regulars have purchased the rules and read them. We don't play it often enough to remember everything, so it is a group effort. All in all, everyone seems to be having fun exploring the Ghost Archipelago -- which is the goal, after all!
Keith's Raccoons were the true spoilers of the day -- snagging two treasures early then launching arrows and casting Brambles to frustrate our snipe at the other crews

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Another Sarissa City Block Building

Sarissa Precision City Block 28mm (Style #2) building for my modern Africa games
A week or so ago, I received a shipment of three additional Sarissa City Block buildings. Terry from Wargame Tools picked out three slightly different ones for me on his recent trip to Europe, and brought them back with him. All are three different numbers in this line, one of which I ordered with an additional floor expansion to create a 3-story building. I absolutely love the simplicity and ease with which the Sarissa MDF buildings go together. And since I need lots of buildings for the upcoming Wars of Insurgency city fight, set in a fictional, modern African country, I have been working on these steadily, lately.
Three quarter view of the building, with my modification - a small, rectangular roof structure (door to stairs)
I decided to do a slight modification on this building. Since I like how the roofs are set up perfectly for figures to fire from them in games, I added a small building to show where the staircase to the roof comes out. I probably went too "no frills" on this. I simply cut a square bass wood dowel to the appropriate height, and then placed a wooden square on top of it for a roof. A had a door (or was it a window shutter?) from one of my earlier log cabins that I hadn't used in my bits bin, and pulled it out and glued it to the small rectangular structure atop the roof. I wasn't overly pleased with how it came out, so will try something else next time.
Style #2 has more industrial style windows, I feel. The reddish-orange tint is more brick than rose, unfortunately
Since the City Block line are essentially identical buildings, just with different window patterns, I also wanted to make them different in the colors I paint them. The first Sarissa building I did was in a golden yellow stone color. This one I thought I would attempt a weathered rose color. After assembling the building and spray priming it black, I applied the first coat -- Howard Hues Middle Eastern Flesh. I like this color as it is a kind of dull, faded red with orange undertones. When I applied the base coat, I attempted to not put it on so thickly that it would seep into the laser-etched lines between the stones. For the most part, I was successful, and the black shows through as the joins between each stone block.
This view illustrates the dry-brushing I did roughly in the center of each laser-cut stone block
The next step was probably the most time consuming. I dry brushed the central area of each sqaure etched stone block with Howard Hues Colonial Khaki. This lightens and fades the orange color. I had not intended for this building to look like brick, as the etched stones are way too big for that. I was disappointed it looked a bit like brick in color, though. I should have realized it, though, as this is a very similar color combination that I've used in the past on brick buildings. To salvage it, and give it a bit more red cast, I did an acrylic wash of a red brown. This gave it less orange and more red of a look, plus softened the brush strokes of the khaki.

Once again, printed off wooden floor patterns to put on the inside floors. The walls on the inside were a light gray -- nothing fancy. Just something to have a little color when the roof or second floor is pulled off to move figures into or out of for game purposes. Next up -- the three story building!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

TT Combat 28mm MDF Apartment Building

TT Combat Apartment A - a 28mm laser-cut MDF building I picked up for my modern skirmish - with 20mm figs
I purchased three 28mm modern MDF buildings to use with my 20mm Modern Skirmish games. I've found that an advantage of my 20mm miniature scale is that I can use buildings from both 15mm and 28mm and the figures don't look out of place. I bought them from Terry at Wargames Tools LLC, who is a great guy to work with. He always had awesome stuff at his booth at conventions.
The big problem with this kid -- the second story does not come apart from the first! See my corner supports for a work-around scratch-built floor
I built the Sarissa Precision building that I'd purchased at Historicon 2018 earlier, so it was time to build one of the two TT Combat Apartment (A and B) I'd picked up. First off, I found the kit had a LOT more pieces! There were lots and lots of individual pieces that need glued in for the windows. What wasn't in the kit was what disappointed me most: There is no second floor. Nor is there a way to remove the second floor from the first floor. You CAN take off the roof, but the first and second story walls are solid state. Hmmm.
Those incised lines are decoration - not a seam, so the building is 'solid state' other than its removable roof
As any gamer knows, the whole point of having buildings with removable roofs is so you can put figures in them! It baffled me that TT Combat would do it this way. My only previous experience with their line is my cargo container ship. And it wasn't constructed in a way to make it easy to remove the bridge from the second and first floors, now that I think about it. I decided to create me own second floor, rather than just bag it and call the two $25 purchases a loss. I cut four pieces of bass wood of the same height to put in each corner of the first floor. I then cut a piece of black styrene plastic to rest upon the supports and be the second floor. I was fairly happy with my work-around, and got back to painting.
My scratch-built second floor (with printed patterns glued on)
For MDF buildings, I spray paint them flat black first. Then I put on a base coat (a craft paint sky blue for this one), and then dry brush a lighter shade (white in this case). I then do the trim and windows, which would be a medium blue with dark orange accent. The stone portions I painted in medium gray with light gray dry brush, which I thought would go well with the light blue. Next, I had to decide how to paint the fence/railing in front of the building. After doing some Google Image searches, I decided to go with a wrought iron look. I painted over the spray painted black with more black to ensure all the nooks and crevices were filled. Then, I brushed on some highlights using Iron Wind Metals Steel.
A close up of the front and the first floor windows, with 20mm African Militia from Liberation Miniatures firing out
Once the entire model was painted, I mixed up a black wash and brushed it over the entire thing - both blue and gray stone portions, as well as the wrought iron. There is some decoration incised on the outside of the building between the first and second floor. I went back and forth on it, and decided not to paint it. I thought it would look to gaudy painted in a bright color, and felt if I did it in the same faded blue, it would be too overpowering. Perhaps I made a mistake not doing this. Perhaps not.
I like the stone and plaster look design of the Apartment Building (with a close-up of the flower garden)
Finally, it was time to do the roof (whose blue and gray portions were painted alongside the building itself). I once again used Woodland Scenics mixed gray ballast for a roof surface. I did it on the Sarissa Precision building, and really like how it gives some 3-D texture to the MDF building. Finally, I flocked the area between the railing and the building to be a flower garden. I built up the grass with fine brown ballast and turf earth from Woodland Scenics. Then, after flocking with Blended Grass, I placed tufts of purple and yellow flowers on top of the grass. I really like how it gives it that final touch.
Militia on my second floor - plus the two wood pieces you can see I epoxied into the floor so you can lift it out easily
Well, not quite final touch! I also had printed out wood and rug patterns that I'd found on Pinterest on the internet. I trimmed these to the correct size, and glued them down with white glue to be my floors. I really like how they brighten up the interior and give it an almost finished look, despite their obviously being no furniture.
The roof, with its Woodland Scenics coarse mixed gray ballast textured floor
By this time, though, I had happened upon my next biggest disappointment with the kit -- one that was no fault of TT Combat. Since the second story is solid state with the first, the building is too tall to fit in my terrain boxes! Noooooo!! Honestly, this may be a deal breaker for me with this build. I am seriously considering selling it after I use it in my game at Advance the Colors next month. The scenario is a city fight, and I will need all of my buildings to fill the table, I imagine. So, if you are interested in this building, contact your realtor, as it just might be for sale...!
Militia stake out their turf in my modern skirmishes in Africa

Monday, August 20, 2018

The Ride of the Men of Goddodin

Lord Gwendawg summons his forces to meet the Roman invader
Messengers riding on tired steeds brought word that men were marching on Gododdin. It strained belief, but the word was they were Romans -- returned to Britain to claim it as their own, again. Lord Gwendawg, Shield of Gododdin, scoffed at the idea of the past coming to life again. Surely, they were another Briton kingdom claiming the mantle of Roman rule -- or another trick by the Saxons to seize yet more land. So, the good Lord Gwendawg called out his hearthguard, who mounted their steeds and put on their mail, his warriors, who shouldered their shields and struck their javelins against their oaken faces to show they were ready to repel marauders yet again. Calling up bowmen of the local levy, Lord Gwendawg marched to meet these "Romans," and send them reeling from the lands of the British kingdom of Gododdin.
Some of my 28mm Dark Age troops from various manufacturers, assembled as a Welsh Saga army
We had been talking about doing Saga as a group for months, and a number of our regular gaming group had bought the rules and were painting armies. I owned quite a few individually-based, 28mm Dark Age figures already -- Vikings, Picts, Saxons, Irish, and my favorite, Britons. So, when I received the new Saga rules in the mail I decided I would play a Welsh army, which is what they categorize those Briton kingdoms that fought against the takeover of the Saxons and later Viking invasions. Strathcylde has always been one of my favorite kingdoms from Dark Age Britain, but the Saga army lists stipulate all figures are mounted for this army. I own only 12 mounted 28mm figures, so that wasn't happening! The Welsh list allows you to mount your Warlord, Hearthguard, and Warriors at your discretion, though, so I chose that army.
The invaders -- Steve's Late Romans with their shield decals from a surviving primary source from Roman times
The local Saga organizer and gamer extraordinaire, Andy, had set up a Sunday morning/afternoon Saga day at Game Table Adventures in Newark, OH. We ended up with only four players showing up, so I matched up against Steve P, and Andy and Jim squared off. Steve is a veteran Saga player, but I am a relative newbie. I'd played the old rules twice, and this would be my first time with the new rules and lists. Steve chose the Late Romans, so we were historically off by quite a few centuries. However, it was a friendly, learning game, so neither of us cared. We set up the Clash of Warlords scenario from the back of the new rulebook. Both of us placed a number of terrain pieces -- marshes, rocky areas, woods, and scrub brush -- till Steve decided that my Welsh army would be able to make better use of the terrain and ended the placement phase.
The invading Romans on the left, Lord Gwendawg of Gododdin's army on the right
He deployed half of his army first, then I deployed my whole army. He followed this up with deploying the remainder, and taking the first turn, albeit rolling only 3 Saga dice instead of his normal six (by the deployment rules). Both forces had to spread out -- we weren't allowed to deploy within a Medium move of a friendly unit. Steve spread from edge to edge, while I massed more in the center in depth. Steve's force contained:
Late Roman Army
  • 1 Foot Warlord
  • 1 Foot Hearthguard unit of 8 figures
  • 3 Foot Warrior units of 8 figures
  • 1 Levy unit of bow of 6 figures
  • 1 Levy unit of Ballista
Facing him, Lord Gwendawg of Gododdin had brought:

Welsh Army of Lord Gwendawg
  • 1 Mounted warlord
  • 1 Mounted Hearthguard unit of 8 figures
  • 2 Foot Warriors units of 12 figures
  • 1 Levy Bow unit of 12 figures
The Roman ballista at top center has devastated both my archers and the Warrior unit in the rocky area to their left
Steve cleverly placed his ballista in front of my Warrior unit that was out in the open. He used his Saga dice rolls to fire off a couple shots each on two turns. Lord Gwendawg's men had never encountered such fearsome weaponry as the Roman ballista. Steve's rolling was fantastic, and my saving was abysmal. Five warriors were killed on the first turn, and five archers on the second (after I forced marched them to the center to cover the heavier units. Of my 33 figures, pretty much 1/3 were dead in the first two turns from what was essentially half of a Levy unit!
The first target of our advance - a small, 6-figure unit of Roman Levy archers in the woods
The Warrior unit immediately took cover in rocky ground, while the archers used two moves to fan out across the center (where they took it on the chin!). The mounted hearthguard moved up behind the archers, while the Warrior unit which had begun in the scrub emerged and advanced quickly towards the woods where the Roman archers were hiding. When we got within Javelin range, we tossed out missiles, causing five hits on the archers. My friends all laugh at my die rolling ability. However, what they don't realize is that I am not simply a bad die roller, I am streaky. When Steve saved all five hits that the archers took, that was the nadir of the streak. It would go up from there.
Gododdin's heroes leave the scrub brush and advance towards the woods, supported by the warlord and his bodyguards
 One of the really cool things about the Welsh army is that it has all kinds of great abilities on its "battle board" -- which simulates command and control. We had two very dangerous reactions -- Our Land, which allows me to move or charge in response to any enemy movement, and Guerrilla, which allows my troops to make a missile attack on enemy moving unit which comes within a Medium move (charge range, essentially). This made Steve very cautious, and his Warrior units lurked on the periphery of the battlefield rather than press forward.
The heroes enter the woods, and fight off the attacks of hearthguards to the left and warriors to their right
And then, the heroes of Gododdin strode forth. My Warrior unit which had emerged from the scrub entered the Roman archer's woods. Steve moved up his foot hearthguard and then charged them. I used my "War Dance" ability, and his fatigue for a second move to make it harder to him my warriors. The streak reversed itself, and my Warriors slaughtered his men who dared enter the wood to attack us. Steve lost six of his eight figures, while I lost only one. Steve's warriors then charged from the other side against the same Warriors. Much slaughter was done, but the Romans were driven back. On my turn, I rested my heroic Warriors, then charged them into the archers, who they drove from the woods in panic. One unit had devastated three enemy units.
After the charge of the mounted hearthguard and the warriors in the woods -- only scattered enemy remain in the center
Now, it was time for the ride of the men of Gododdin. My mounted hearthguard thundered across the field and slew the remaining Roman hearthguard. Meanwhile, the archers had been firing at the ballista crewmen themselves, and had succeeded in disabling its ability to fire. It needed one more casualty to be destroyed, but never again would it wound Gododdin's sons. The Warriors in rocks emerged and threw javelins at the Roman Warriors who had edged forward to support the ballista.
The end game -- only two Warrior units on Steve's right would be left to contest the field after the riders of Gododdin would slay the enemy warlord, and Lord Gwendawg revenged himself upon the ballista by killing its remaining crew
Here was where Steve made a fatal mistake. His first move was to bring his far right flank Warrior unit closer to the action. I used Our Land again and responded with a charge of the mounted nobles of Gododdin -- against his Warlord! Although it ended up taking us two turns of combat to slay his leader, this was the loss the broke the heart of the enemy warband. With only two units producing Saga dice (his two right flank warrior units), Steve conceded.
Sound the trumpets in victory! The men of Gododdin, and Lord Gwendawg - shield of the kingdom - triumphed!!
My heroes of the game were obviously the foot warriors who strode into the woods and defeated three enemy forces. The mounted hearthguards also were crucial to my success, slaying the remainder of his hearthguards and his warlord. My lucky streak changed from dismal to inspiring just when I needed it! It was a fun game, and I look forward to getting in some more games of Saga soon.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Two-Story "City Block" Building

City Block MDF building by Sarissa Precision (28mm) with 20mm modern Africa figures
I decided that I need more buildings if I want to do a big skirmish set in a town. The great thing about 20mm as my chosen scale for modern Africa, is I can use buildings from all kinds of scales and they don't look too off -- 15mm, 20mm, 1/72 scale, and 28mm. I have scratch-built a number of my buildings, but it is very labor-intensive (and fiddly, working with foam core). So, I decided to try out one of the MDF buildings that the market is burgeoning with right now.
The unpainted, assembled City Block buildings from an image on Sarissa Precision's website
At Historicon 2018, I picked up three MDF buildings from Wargame Tools LLC. Terry Jones is a nice guy, and I bought my MDF container ship off of him a couple years back. As I was flipping through his inventory at Historicon, I noticed that he was carrying buildings from Sarissa Precision, as well as TTCombat (who made my freighter). I really liked one of the small, simple "city block" buildings and picked it up. I decided not to buy the extra story, which he sells, because I wasn't sure how this would turn out. This is mainly because I am not the biggest fan of MDF buildings, in general. I think they have a certain "flatness" -- or 2-dimensional look to them, sometimes. Plus, I've seen people through them on the table unpainted thinking they look accurate, but this definitely strikes me as wrong looking. I know that I can simply give the wood a texture if I like -- stucco or whatever -- but that would seem to work against the texture that is incised on them already. I also picked up two apartment buildings from TTCombat, but chose to build the Sarissa Precision one first.
The bare bones instructions -- note my two arrows I added pointing out "notches up" on the side pieces that I missed
I can honestly say that I have never had a building go together easier, and be better designed, than this kit. Although the instructions were very bare bones -- I missed one subtlety that more written text would have prevented. Luckily, it was not dry yet, and I could correct my mistake. It comes in three levels, including the ground level, the upper story, and the flat rooftop. I chose this building because miniatures could easily be deployed on top of the roof, and all the windows were "open" so figures could shoot through them. The biggest surprise was the simple but clever way the three levels went together. There were two rectangular tabs on the top of the ground floor and upper story, and these fit easily and snugly into the floor of the level above. I thought I was going to have make some modifications to make the roof and upper story come off easily, but I did not.
The building went together SO easily. I used rubber bands to add pressure and keep the walls square while drying
Once the three levels were glued together with Tacky glue, I left them overnight to dry. Then I sprayed them with Krylon acrylic black spray primer. Next, I had a decision to make. What color, and how to paint the walls? They were incised with laser cut lines to represent block stone -- like a limestone or travertine style office building. The reason I generally like resin buildings better is their cuts are deeper, and dry-brushing is easy. I decided to paint the base coat the stone a craft paint called "Raw Siena" -- a somewhat leathery brown that I hoped would stay in the crevices between the stones and on enough of the stone face once I dry-brushed its flat surface.
I REALLY like how the color turned out on this building -- I feel it has the golden glow of aged limestone
I let this dry overnight, too, and then dry brushed the stones Howard Hues Colonial Khaki. I shook my head as I completed each of the tree levels. I wasn't happy with the look. Like I said, not enough relief in the thin, laser incising. Oh, well, maybe when all put together, it would look nice. From that point, I began working on the details. I went with Iron Red (craft paint) for the wooden parts on the windows and main front door. I trimmed the edges with Dark Brown. The interior walls were painted a light gray. I decided not to wash the gray, as the black base coat showed through in an irregular enough fashion that it did not look to "cookie-cutter" sharp. After all the details were finished, I set it aside to dry.
Close up of the entrance of the building. I think it looks fine with 20mm figures -- even though it is 28mm scale
I had decided the previous night to try a brown wash on the Khaki dry-brushed walls, hoping it would settle in the crevices even more. In a bit of serendipity, it did an amazing job of "mellowing" the stone color to look like aged, golden limestone. The difference between it prior to washing and after were so striking that I was upset I hadn't taken a photograph the night before! After the walls dried, I painted the sidewalk out front (also thinly laser etched). I decided to use only two rows of stones for the sidewalk, and do the the rest as a kind of grass "tree lawn" in front of the building. I flocked it with my usual method and added in some tufts here and there to give it that 3-Dimensional look.
A look at the printed floor pattern I glued into place
I decided to dress up the floors of the two levels with a printed wood grain pattern. I simply Googled "Doll+House+printed+floors" and came up with a number of sites. I chose a pattern I found on Pinterest, of all places. Resizing it in Photoshop, I simply printed it off at the local copy place in color. I trimmed it to size and I think it adds a nice little touch to the building!
The top piece -- the roof section -- is flat topped, which I liked. I flocked the roof with mixed gray stone ballast
The final touch was to flock the flat rooftop. I have seen buildings that have a crushed stone look to the rooftop like this, and thought this would look better than just a basic paint. I like the way it gives texture to the building, too. I painted it black, then painted it again in white glue, pouring on Woodland Scenics Coarse Gray Blend Ballast.
A look at how the ground floor and the sidewalk in front of it -- this was the easiest MDF kit I've ever assembled!
All in all, I am VERY happy with how this MDF building came out. It makes me look forward to putting together the two TTCombat ones I purchased next!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Mice and Squirrels Tell Their Tales

The board's center, with the cage containing the Satyr in the upper right, and Weasels and Pine Martens treasure hunting
I received two AARs from my players after our second Frostgrave game. For my write-up of the action, read Caged...Like Rats! I'd been waiting to see if any reports from the other five players showed up before publishing these, but it looks like that's all. First up is the Mouse's Tale, by Mike S. It is followed by the Squirrels report, by Joel.
The Mice adventurers, including the Warden T.B. at top, center

A Mouse Tells His Tale

Well, we headed into the jungle again. Hopefully this trip would show more profit than the last foray.  As we came upon a major clearing, we found a chest in a clump of bush. We sent the regular crewman back to the boat with it -- time enough to open it later. After doing this, we approached the clearing center. To our surprise, there was a Satyr in a wooden cage, guarded by jungle rats.
The Mice decided to ignore the "Weasel types" (Pine Martens and Weasels), who busily scooped up treasures
As we came closer we noticed some Weasel types in one direction and some larger rodents across from us. Well we had competition for the crewman. Our Heritor M.M., along with the archer R.M., decided to fill one of  the rats with arrows. Well, it seems more archery practice is called for! It took us several more shots than it should have. While they were about that I -- the Warden T.B. -- grabbed our infantryman Pynkie and headed out to flank the rats. I saw a weasel trying to scurry off with a chest and attempted a lightning strike, which failed to go off. As I continued the flanking move, we noticed the large rodents were having the luck. They were approaching the cage as we fiddled around.
Noticing the Satyr in the wooden cage, the Mice attacked the Rat guards, hoping to free him (central treasure)
I also noticed a wolverine-looking Warden headed for a clump of brush that had part of a chest showing. I sent Pynkie ahead as I tried a lightning strike. Well this one went off -- and did it ever! The wolverine's fur stood up, started smoking and he collapsed. I started moving forward to support Pynkie against a single crewman, when there was a loud cry in the distance. We decided it was time for discretion and headed back to the ship.

M.M. and the archer joined us as we returned, we caught up to the crewman Jerry, just as we got to the ship. Well, at least we didn't lose anyone like we lost Tom last time...!

A Mouse captive in a cage (one of the central treasures) guarded by Jungle Rats

Squirrels Tails

A howl off in the distance goes unanswered.  Those bushy tailed Bandits stepped into the clearing on our right and paused.  That was the signal Dukka, our leader, was looking for. He left the cover of the rocky knoll and paused ON the dead Jungle Rat in front on us.  This made the dead rats right rear paw twitch-twitch and started a chain reaction.  Red's tail went flick-flick-flick, Flopsy ground squirrel got nervous leg, I heard that thump-thump-thump from her hidden well behind us.
The Squirrel's allies for the game, the Bandits (Raccoons) advance towards the cage, discovering a treasure
Those Bandits looked at us.  We looked at the last two Jungle Rat guards. The caged mouse looked at the Bandits.  The Squirrels and Bandits cautiously advanced in unison.  The two Jungle Rats stood their ground.  Off in the distant a howl went up, a rally call that went unanswered again.  The eight of us got to the cage together, the Bandits paused, looked at the Jungle Rat guards.  The last two Jungle Rats looked at Dukka and bared their teeth. Dukka looked at the caged mouse, lightning strikes off in the distance. The caged mouse could not take it anymore and immediately fainted.  Before the Jungle Rats could move against us, a bushy tail bandits broke into the cage like the expert he was. The mouse slumped out of the cage into the bandit's paws as the Jungle Rats jumped on the adventurers.  The two guards were easily put down and before we left the cage we filled the cage with those two dead rats. The End
The tense scene as the Squirrels and Raccoons arrive at the cage and decide to cooperate against the Rat guards