Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Hunting the Goblin King

As I mentioned in the last post, there's one more 'piece' of terrain that I need for my planned Moria campaign. This one has a bit of a difference to the previous pieces though, as it's less of a piece of terrain and more of a whole new game board in it's own right!

The scenario in question revolves around the Dwarfs of Balin's Expedition attempting to hunt down and kill the Goblin King, and is set in the Goblin King's throne room. None of my existing boards would be anywhere close to suitable for use as a throne room, and the WD campaign used a specially built throne room so I decided to do the same.

The basic shape of the throne room is an 'H' shape laid on it's side, with the actual throne as an extension. First, I measured out and cut a template from thick card and then used the card to cut out a layer of roughly 1cm polystyrene. With the polystyrene cut out, it was glued to the card to provide a bit of stability to base.

The throne extension consists of several raised platforms with the throne at the very top and back of the board. I built this part separately for ease of transport and storage. It's constructed from three layers. The first, and lowest, just covers the two front corners of the extension and matches the level of the rest of the board. The next layer is the first raised platform, and is made of thick dense polystyrene (which made cutting much easier!). The shape is roughly octagonal, although the first layer has a trapezoid extension at the front. The second layer is simply a big octagon. The cutouts in both levels leave room for three sets of steps in each level. 

The steps were made from foamboard, with two pieces forming each step. After a few careful calculations, each step has room for a figure to stand on as well! 

Just four more sets of stairs to go! Measuring and cutting all the steps takes quite a while, but it'll be worth it. 

The throne itself was one of the first parts of the throne room that I made

Of course, the throne room board is still a long way from finished. It's designed to quite close and tight to move around, with plenty of pillars and obstacles to make a pretty packed fighting environment. 

I'll be back with more soon!

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Delving of the Dwarves

Just over six months after starting, work on the Moria boards is now more-or-less complete! Each of the boards has had a pretty heavy drybrush of light grey over the darker grey to bring out the texture of the base.    
All that's really left to do is just tidy up a few bits around the edges where the grey has gone over the black borders. 

But that's certainly not the end of the terrain-making adventures in Moria. With the boards in a playable state, I started looking for ideas for games to play with the boards. Reading through old White Dwarf magazines is something I like to do every now and again, and WD 322 contains a whole mini-campaign set in Moria - exactly what I was looking for!

My game boards weren't enough on their own though - several other bits of terrain would be necessary to pull this campaign off!

First up - the Walls of Moria!

The cliffs are needed for a couple of the scenarios in the campaign to provide an exit/entrance into Moria itself. These were made in much the same way as the hills for the game boards themselves; several layers of polystyrene cut out, glued and pinned together with cocktail sticks. Where the hills used three or four layers though, the cliffs required twelve layers to build them up to a suitable height! Sand was glued to the top of the cliffs in the same way as the game boards and they've been undercoated with black paint. They'll receive the same treatment as the boards with the grey and drybrushing later. They've been constructed to sit nicely on the edges of two of the boards.

Next up, Kheled-z├óram, the 'Mirrormere', was also required. Due to the size required for the lake and the specifics of the required table layout for this scenario, there was only one place I could put the lake - over the top of the bridges and chasm. Of course, that meant that the lake couldn't be flat to the board and it would need to be built up in several layers to raise the lake above the bridges. 

In order to rise above the bridges, three layers of foamboard were needed. The first two layers have bridge-shaped cut outs in them, while the third layer is the one that is visible and would form the actual lake. It's designed to fit neatly into the corner of one board so two edges were left "level", while the curved edge was built up to form the banked edge of the lake. I happened to have some tile grout already mixed (I was supposed to be tiling a bathroom floor at the time...), so that's what I used to build up the bank but filler would have been my usual choice. A few small rocks were added while the grout was still wet, and once everything was dry it was all painted black as with the Walls. I'll paint up the bank in a similar fashion to the rest of the boards, but the lake itself will be painted as befits a water feature before I add water effects.

The next extra bit of terrain would be Balin's Tomb. 

The base is simply two pieces of foamboard (I didn't actually have a single piece big enough, so I made it in two halves instead) with low walls built up with polystyrene around each edge, with a gap left for the entrance in one wall. The pillars are simply dense polystyrene between squares of card mounted on 20mm square bases at each end. The tomb itself is built up from foamboard and thick card to give the desired shape and dimensions

There's just one more terrain piece to make, but this one would require a lot more work than the rest. More on that in the next post!

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Greyclaw Victorious!

The Skaven came out for another game last week, this time against Gary's Tomb Kings. We settled on a small affair of 1500pts, as we didn't have too long to play. It was also the first time that Gary had used the latest Tomb Kings army book, despite having owned his Tomb Kings army for several years! With my..ahem, I mean Warlord Greyclaw's dubious generalship and Gary's relative unfamiliarity with his own army, it looked set up to be an interesting encounter.

I was all prepared for battle report writing with camera, notebook and a selection of writing implements - unfortunately, in the event there wasn't much of a battle to report! You see, after a bit of moving and repositioning, Gary went a bit overboard with his incantations and managed to blow up his Hierophant on Turn 2. The turn after, a unit of Rat Ogres ploughed through his Tomb Prince and Chariots, and the game was effectively over before it had started. Gary conceded, and we packed everything away.

Of course, a Skaven general like Queek Greyclaw will revel in any victory he achieves, no matter how it comes about, but it was a rather disappointing way to spend an evening in the end. I did take a few pictures of the first couple of turns though, so I'll share those (up to the point where it all went wrong)

The armies deployed, ready for action

My new Warpstone-infused dice; could they be the cause of Gary's misfortune?

The Skaven make the first move, with a barely-controlled rush across the table

The Tomb Kings barely move at all, with the Carrion
 and Horsemen being the only notable exceptions

The Skaven advance more cautiously now, as the Horsemen prepare to
sacrifice themselves (again) in an attempt to slow the Doomwheel

Things start to look worrying for the Skaven, as Scorpions and Swarms pop up out of the ground around them

They think it's all over... is now. 

So that was that. Not the greatest of games, but I'm sure a rematch will be arranged. 

In other news, I finished painting a couple of new toys to take part in the game. First up, my converted Warlock Engineer carrying the dreaded Doomrocket (which is one of my favourite magic items!), which was constructed way back when I was taking part in the Tale of X Gamers on last year.

The model uses one of the spare Master Moulder figures I had from the Island of Blood set as the base. The Doomrocket itself uses the shock-prod "chassis" with the addition of a couple of Airfix bombs from a Harrier Jumpjet! The head is the alternative masked head from the Doomwheel kit, while the backpack is a resin Biohazard Backpack from Maxmini which I had spare from my still-WiP Globadier conversions.

The other new toy is yet another Poisoned Wind Mortar. The ability for them to move and fire makes them my default choice for Weapon Teams to accompany my Clanrat units, and dropping a small template's worth of death on enemy units is always fun