I’ll start this post off with a video I did last week, where I did a brief intro to my new terrain set:
So, I ended up putting the first three of four Ruined Farmhouse sets together, and came up with this:
The first set had a bent wall, and I was like, “aww man, these kits suck!” Then I opened the next two and there were no more issues. In fact, they went together pretty well, I have to say. And they are totally, totally modular. You can come up with quite a few different variations, especially if you keep it unbased like I have here.
Speaking of which, normally I don’t like buildings being on bases, or templates, if you will. Unless the base matches the table/board, then I feel it takes something away from the look of building. But these being ruins, there should be a heck of a lot of rubble in and around them. So I’m considering putting together some simple, rubbly bases for them, but I’m not sure about it. At least for now I’ll leave them like this, and see how they work. I don’t want to limit the modular possibilities, so we’ll see.
I’ll post more about these as I get them painted up and on the table.
So a surprise project for me last week was one of my Games Workshop Woods. I’ve had three of them sitting around doing nothing for quite a while now (two of them brown-primed), and while chatting with some of the guys on Hangout I got the urge to bring it out and start working on it.
Well, two nights later I went from this (plus one more tree)…
Now, I can appreciate that this terrain piece isn’t ‘finished.’ There is no grass flocking and there are no leaves. I’m going to leave it like this for now, and after playing with it see how I feel about them not having grass. The leaves I will leave off this model. Maybe the next one will get some, or the last one. But this is going to be a ‘barren’ wood, partway to being a dead wood.
Not much to say about this piece, since I didn’t add too much. But I used some cheapo paints, mixed in with some P3 and GW stuff. The trees got (DecoArt) Burnt Umber, and the ground got (DecoArt) Cinnamon Brown. The rocks were (P3) Trollblood Highlight and the moss got (P3) Battledress Green. Then I hit the rocks with (GW) Badab Black, watered down.
And voila, a wood template.
You know what, I just decided, I’m going to add some grass. Without, it looks just a little too barren.
While I quite enjoy playing Warhammer Fantasy, one thing that I often do not enjoy is using mystical, magical terrain in our games.
I totally get that the Warhammer world is a fantasy setting, so why wouldn’t there be Bane Stones and Wizards Towers and Anvil Hills all over the place? It’s thematic, it makes sense, and it adds extra fantasy elements to the game. And yet I regularly find myself hoping not to roll up special terrain, and even more often I try to convince my opponent to just play mundane, non-magical terrain.
And don’t get me wrong, Games Workshop terrain is absolutely beautiful! I would love to own the entire collection of Warhammer scenery. Even the tallest, most extravagant and unusable-in-a-mass-battles-game structures are so appealing to me.
I think one of the problems for me is that I just don’t get to play the game enough, and I switch between armies regularly, so I would rather focus on remembering my army’s rules and getting good with them than try to work around statues that shoot my units and forests that give my opponent Poison Attacks. You know what I mean? Maybe if I played the game once a week, every week, I would want to add the extra elements. As it is, the games I usually play take a couple hours MORE than they should because we’re constantly looking up new and forgotten rules, both for our armies and the game itself. Familiarity and regular play would definitely chop the time down, but I and my usual opponents don’t have the luxury of being able to play that often.
Another problem for me, and I know this is a lot more of a personal quirk than anything, is that even when we roll up and play a random scenario, to me it’s just a basic scenario. Other than Watchtower, and even with Watchtower actually, the game comes down to beating the opponent enough to get more VP than he does. It’s not like with some skirmish scenarios we play where you have to get across the board and deliver a message (as in Malifaux) or pick up some weapons and carry them back home (as in Dark Age). I personally think that the nature of skirmish games make these kinds of ‘complex’ scenarios not only fun, but necessary. But with a mass-battle game, I feel that the game we play is just one small battle in a larger war, and that the ‘goal’ is outside of the session. Sort of like we are playing a campaign. But not. Although I wish we did. Do you get it? Like, yeah, we’re playing Battle for the Pass, simple. But in the meta-game, the thematic story behind the battle is that my Ogres are a scouting force trying to get through this narrow pass to spy on the Lizardmen encampment on the other side, and those Lizards have sent a defensive party to try and stop me. Ooh! Look at the narrative! Just like a skirmish game! But when we actually do play, we don’t think about this. We just randomly roll up a scenario and randomly place terrain and then get to the action. And for me, this makes me just want to fight a regular battle with as little terrain as possible, and the terrain we do have let’s just make it regular and mundane, with no special rules.
Maybe I should be playing Napoleonic or Ancients games instead?
Or maybe I need to convince the guys to play a campaign, so that there is some fluff and reason why we’re fighting beyond, “Are you free tonight? Yeah? Me too! Let’s play Warhammer!”
Or maybe we need to start using more advanced scenarios, like the ones in the big hardcover version of the rulebook. When all those awesome new Skaven models were released the White Dwarf at the time had a battle report of this Skaven army attacking an Empire town. I forget the details, but I know it’s in the rulebook and the attacking army has to destroy the defenders’ buildings. Cool! It’s scenarios like those that I think do great with magical terrain, not the regular old face-off battles that we usually fight.
Well, the good news is that there should be a campaign starting in the coming months at Meeplemart, as soon as that group finishes its 40k campaign. These are not guys that I usually play, but it’s possible that I can rope my regular gaming buds into the campaign with me, so that not only can we play this great game more regularly AND with purpose, but we can add some variety into our games that we don’t currently get to see, playing the same guys and armies every time.
What good timing this is, as I go forth with my Ogres of the Bloodstone Tribe and hopefully (for sure this time!) finally get a fully painted and much-loved Warhammer army on the table.
How about you? How do you feel about terrain in Warhammer or in other games? Mundane or Magical, which do you prefer?
Man, I knew this would happen. Once I stopped blogging for a single day, it all went downhill from there. Granted, last week both my wife and baby were sick, so I had less time to play and hobby and blog anyway, plus I went away for the weekend. All of that together means…it’s been quite a few days since I’ve posted. Eek…over a week, actually. I’m glad I made the conscious decision to not post daily, or else I would have been disappointed in myself by now.
However, I do have a few newly acquired items to talk about.
First, last week a relatively small box arrived on my doorstep. To be honest, I’ve been so busy I haven’t even gone through the contents much, other than taking them out of the box and laying them out like this:
…then putting them back in the box. But I do know that the package contains four more Old West buildings and some fences. I picked them up on the last day of GameCraft’s online sale. At this point I’m not sure when I’ll be playing Old West games, but I’m going to try and get them all built as soon as free time between other projects allows. I’m hoping that, with all of the other games I’m planning on getting into/demoing right now, the Fall will be the Season of the Old West.
My other new acquisition is a collection of much-anticipated Dark Age stuff!
I made the decision a month or so ago to get into Dark Age, and I’m in the process of joining the demo crew, The Legion. As you can see I now have the rulebook (a possibly-permanent borrow from Kevin. Thanks Kevin!) and two starters: Dragyri and Outcasts. I was drawn to the Dragyri right away, even though I’m not normally an ‘alien faction’ kind of guy. The Outcasts were originally my third choice, but they grew on me, and they were the other starter that Meeplemart had in stock, so…why not?
I’ve already begun working on the slaves, which you’ll see more of in tomorrow’s long-overdue Workbench Update.
I’ll also be working on unboxing photo (and maybe video) reviews for both the Dark Age and GameCraft items, as well as my pre-play thoughts on the Dark Age rules. Those things will be coming over the next couple of weeks, while I get the models ready for learning and demoing.
Not only did I finish (sans gold shine) my Imperial Armada starter this week, but I also put the finishing touches (sans gold shine) on my Empire Fire Wizard for WHFB.
Admittedly, he didn’t have much left to be finished, but I’m glad he’s done. He’s my first Empire model that is complete, which is sad since I’ve been playing Empire since last May. Our WHFB Tale of Gamers challenge faltering, stalling and ceasing didn’t help with completion. Neither did picking up Heavy Gear Blitz with Andrew and Rob…which we proceeded to not actually play. I may try and convince Andrew to make sure his starter for that is built, and we can try it one of these Tuesdays.
Anyway, I digress. What’s on the workbench right now?
Yeah, these guys are still waiting, but they’ll get their chance now that the FF models are done. In fact, they are both sitting right here, beside the little pots of paint that I need to paint them. Now that’s preparation! You can even see their painted compatriot urging them on in the background.
Old West Buildings
These beauties are in the same state as they were last weekend, as it was only yesterday that I picked up the other colours I need to paint them. But now that I have them, they’re going to get done. The brown I put on them worked quite well, actually, so hopefully the other colours go on the same. I’m also hoping the colours I picked up are going to look good. If not, they only cost $1,and I can always get a few other shades of the colours I got. You can see the paints newest paints in the picture here. They are “DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylics.” Look for an update on these in the coming days.
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That’s all that is actively being worked on right now. I’m going to focus on these until they are done, and then I can move on. To what? Stay tuned to find out!
And just for fun, here is a ‘snapshot’ of my workspace as it stood this morning:
Over the last few weeks I picked up a couple of things related to gaming. Nothing special, but potentially fun.
The first is a set of the Star Wars Miniatures Clone Wars map packs.
I haven’t played the game in ages (although I would actually love to again), but for $1.50 each, it was as steal! I almost bought them a while ago at 3-for-2, but I didn’t. I saw these at Winners, or one of those stores that are all the same, and picked them up. I’d consider collecting those scenario books, the Missions or whatever, and collecting the necessary figures to play them out. Sort of like my friend Les, who is collecting all the Lord of the Rings figures to play the scenarios in the books. He’s also doing up a lot of great terrain for it.
The other purchase was this über awesome golden dragon statue, just in time for Lunar New Year, and the year of the dragon.
It’s from Walmart, for I think $12. Not too cheap, but I think it’s going to make a fantastic piece for a future pulp scenario. I will be getting back to pulp stuff sooner or later, and you can never go wrong with an Asian-themed scenario where a giant golden dragon statue comes alive and tries to eat the players 🙂
This piece might sit on the shelf beside a bunch of other ones I’ve bought for games I haven’t yet gotten around to really working on (mostly pulp stuff). If I get through enough of my other projects early on, perhaps I can make use of these.