zaterdag 24 maart 2018

There are Picts on my lawn!

Another Dux Britanniarum campaign report from our TSA campaign.  This time, another Hostage Raid as Pictish Raiders landed on my shores.

It was a sunny day as Clustfeinad strolled his gardens.  Soon his noble, Petif would arrive with his retinue.  But then word reached him that Picts had landed and where on a route that would make them intercept his vassal.  Clustfeinad immediatly raised his warriors to try and relieve the nobleman... again for the second month in a row.  Petif should really learn to keep his pants up.

So yet again Hostage Raid, it seems my nobles are popular with the opposition in the first of three Raids I have to fight this campaign month.  I knew the set up, and once again, the enemy would arrive right next to my small force with my noble.

So like last time, I set up the groups and immediatly formed them in a shieldwall.  Now the good thing was, even though his entire army would appear from the go, that they are raider class troops.  This means that while they are harder to kill, they would be far more susceptible to shock... and I hoped to hold on and get my forces to the other side of the table asap.

However, contrary to the last battle, the raiders split up, so I needed to keep the force containing my lord, a noble, his champion, the elites and a regiment of mercenary warriors at the back to hold the pictish force off, while the warrior cavalry raised to the aid of the beleagured noble.

The pictish tide crashed on the noble`s shieldwall... and was subsequently thrown back, even with some bonuses to his lord.  His archers and skirmishers harrased the wall in the meantime, as he prepared for another go.

My lord`s force stood ready to intercept the other horde of picts that tried to pass by my slow moving shieldwall line.

The Picts came again at my lord... and once again where thrown back as kills and shock took their toll on his groups.

On the other side, the lord and his retinue engaged the other two units of raiders.

The cavalry arrived at the scene right on time.  While the pictish where regrouping, the mercenary warriors legged it due to even more shock being caused by the skirmishers.

The Lord and his followers threw back the raiders on his flank in the meantime.

The cavalry charged the raiders containing his lord, and as his champion had fallen in the previous combat against the shieldwall, ran them over.  This caused them to flee of the table, having had enough of the battle, and drag his lord with them.

A small group of raiders and his skirmishers where now the only thing present of the pictish thread, and the noble and his loyal warriors steeled themselves for a fresh assault.

The lord and his men attacked the other raiders in the meantime again, and threw them off the table, taking their noble with them as well.  This left the pictish with no characters on the table for the moment.

My noble charged his missile troops, who immediatly dispersed, and contacted the last Raiders, taking them all down.  All they had to do now was turn and try to get the grabs with the skirmishers, with my cavalry in aid.

But then the pictish lord returned for a final vengeance... only to be wounded twice and dropping the morale of the invader to 0, securing victory for the Dyffed troops.

Well, another victory in the campaign, seems we are on a roll here of late.  The +4 victory resulted in some talents, and my warrior cavalry group receiving two extra soldiers.  This means I ordered the Grippin Beast plastic horsemen immediatly, as I only have 4 horsemen and will need 6 for the next battle, which will be against Scotti raiders according to the campaign calendar sequence.  Probably in about two to three weeks time.

And the Picts?  They limped home with some troops out of commission, and will think twice before setting foot on my shores again!

vrijdag 23 maart 2018

Diabolik Lovers More, Blood

Often I just select an anime series totally at random to watch, without any idea at all what I`m getting myself into.

This is something that I find broadens my spectrum, but at times, that might turn out a bad choice, while I also discovered some hidden gems due to this method...

Unfortunatly, this 12 episode series that originally came from a visual novel on the playstation portable systems falls in the first category...  in two words: Stockholm Syndrome...

Plot (from MyAnimeList)

Yui Komori, still held captive by the Sakamaki brothers—pureblood vampires after her blood—experiences yet more bizarre twists to her life following her stay at their household. Though haunted by enigmatic dreams, Yui soon deciphers their meaning when caught in a car crash, which subsequently leads to meeting four new vampires: the Mukami brothers, Ruki, Azusa, Kou, and Yuuma, who themselves capture the bewildered girl.

Yui later awakens in the Mukami mansion, where the brothers reveal their plans for her: she is their "Eve," and her blood will find the "Adam" among them; together, they will have the power to rule the world. However, with the Sakamaki brothers hot on their heels, things might not go quite as smoothly as they had imagined.

What I liked about it

* Storywise nothing, it actually felt a bit creepy to me.  But it is well animated and has some very nice piano music in it

What I didn`t like about it

* As I said, it`s a very creepy series in a disturbing way.  The Stockholm Syndrome is one thing, but apart from that the vampire brothers are also a bunch of perverted a-holes that abuse Yui constantly and roughly (in a NON Hentai way you pervs!)

More Irish Bonnachts

Nothing fancy painting wise this post though...

As a result of the challenge, I had painted up quite a few of those plastic Gripping Beast Dark Age warriors.

These serve on the one hand to boost my SAGA force (far beyond the average points for a game at the moment), and on the other hand to have as much options and eventuality coverage for the TSA Dux campaign.

But as a result, I had two "half units" of 4 warriors each, of the spear and of the handweapon variant, left over after AHPC, as I didn't get them based up for the entry in time.  As such, I now finally gotten round to completing them and giving them a coat of matt varnish, ready for the battlefield.

Now onwards to clean up my paint desk more with the next unit of I don't know what yet xD

The Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge 8 result

And there we have it, my AHPC virginity has been taken.

In this 8th year of the challenge, I finally contended, and did far more then I expected.

At first, I did the maths on what might be just above my comfort level, and settled around 750 points.  Back in those dark december days, that seemed like a lot of 28mm figures to paint, but I must say I went far smoother then expected, ending at 1583 points, over double of the projected amount.

Now granted, this was in a large part due to being more at home then I liked to during january, and I could as such already reach my objective by the end of the first month.  Trying to stay consistent afterwards and finish entries of around 100 points since then on a weekly basis did help securing my rather excellent total tally, and resulting in a finishing spot of 12 instead of the hopeful "just in the first half" when I set out on this adventure.  Perhaps the only thing I feel sorry for this challenge is that I couldn't be as "social" as I liked to be, as my erratic schedule caused me to comment very irregularly.

The challenge is a great way to reduce lead (well, these days it seems to be plastic mostly though) mountain.  I started some odd and end projects I don't even know if I'll ever finish or even continue (10mm ECW, 28mm Shang chinese for example) as I came along these models while looking for entries.  On the other hand, some of my armies got huge expansions, first and foremost my 40k Emperor's Children force which grew by a quarter during this challenge, but also the Dux / SAGA Irish forces as I steadily painted up the remaining plastic figures that where still on the to do pile.

Of course, by not a long shot did I manage to actually finish everything I wanted.  I haven't even gotten around to starting two projects I wanted to do during the challenge, in the form of my Blood Bowl team or my Tombstone western band of 7th Cavalry.  So those will be projects to be worked on in the coming months instead.

I want to thank Curt and his team, and especially Ray who had to stuck up with me on a weekly basis, for running this great event, and I duly hope I can get in again next year... but then hopefully come prepared with already a heap of assembled and primed figures xD.

Those Imperial Romans I won at the charity raffle this year for example will be put to the side just for that...

Now, as requested, participants should make a picture with all the models that they painted for the challenge, but I'm going the video route for this one.  Way easier then having to try and crop everything in one picture, and add my ugly mug to it as well...

So all that is left now for me to do is split this heap of figures onto the right shelves of the armies, decide on the odd models wether to keep or sell them, and... get back to painting!

donderdag 22 maart 2018

AHPC8: The end of the road groupshot

It is an time-honoured tradition... at the end of the Challenge, participants are asked to post a picture of themselves together with the figures they painted.

Okay... technical problem... I don`t have that large a table at the place where my figures are stored...

So I went to that other medium instead that I have at my disposal: the trusty videocamera and made a short movie, making sure my ugly mug is on it to get you through the summer months.

It was great venture to participate in, and while it did reduce lead mountain significantly (I guess I did around 300 figures, haven`t counted them exactly I`m afraid)... it also had an "unfortunate" side effect.  You see, as I rummaged thorugh my boxes to add variety to what was planned to be all pink and plastic dark ages as entries, I stumbled across figures long forgotten, like the Shang Chinese.  So of course I`ll need to build an army of them now, what else is a wargamer to do!

Oh well, at least that will give me plenty of figures to enter in the NEXT year (is it december already?) challenge, and some very "guided" shopping at out Crisis wargame show come november.  And that Mongol army still is eyeing me, begging for paint... they might have to wait just that bit longer then...

Well, that`s it for me then this year, this was great fun, and all I have to do now is split that 1.5 shelf of all sorts of figures through each other to their respective armies, orden the cabinets as such, and update the "The Armies" page on my blogsite to round it all out.

Until next year!

Land of the Minotaurs - Richard A. Knaak

The Lost Histories series probes the historical roots and epic struggles of heretofore little-known peoples of Krynn.

Author Richard A. Knaak explores the land and history of the horned race of minotaurs in this fourth instalment in the series.


Throughout the time of Krynn, one race has remained strong in it's pride and beliefs.  The minotaurs envision themselves as the children of destiny, the future masters of the world.  Despite adversity, defeat and enslavement, that belief has never wavered.
If there is a foe capable of destroying the minotaurs, it is their own arrogance.  Here is told the tale of clan against clan, and how the exiled champion Kaz must discover the terrible secret of the empire before he and his entire race suffer the disastrous consequences...

What I liked about it

* Nostalgia.  this novel, written in 1996, took me back to the setting of Dragonlance from my old around the table and play DnD (2nd edition) games.

What I didn't like about it

* While it is nice to read about the minor, usually not played, races of the setting, this also makes it harder to "live in" the character and the views on the Dragonlance world...

An entertaining novel for a different point of view, but not one I would revisit again after finishing it though...

Jumanji - Welcome to the Jungle

A sequel to the good fun movie with the late Robin Williams, this film stars The Rock instead as the main character.

Building on the first movie instead of being a plain reboot, the movie actually beat Star Wars at the chinese box office last winter, so this might prove a pleasant suprise, even though Noshi and me sat down with low expectations.


Years after the first movie, the boardgame is found and brought to a house in Bradford.  However, the local kid doesn't have any intrest in boardgames, so overnight the game transforms itself into a videogame cartridge and when Alex tries it he is sucked in the game.
Going forward 20 years, Spencer, Bethany, Fridge and Martha find themselves in detention for various reasons.  They find the console and cartridge and decide to play a game, resulting them to be sucked in the game as well and taking on the appearance of their avatars.

They are tasked with saving Jumanji by retrieving a crystal and bringing it back to the jaguar statue, all while being limited to three lives in the game each.
Along the way, they find Alex to complete their party and they have to work together to overcome the hindrances, or levels, of the game world, while learning to cope with the feelings and prejudgeging they have about each other.

What I liked about it

* It's mindless entertainment with some great jokes in it, period.  Both Dwayne Johnson and Jack Black (him especially) really bring over the identity crisis of the youngsters in other bodies.
* Her

What I didn't like about it

* Not much actually, as I said, we went in with low expectations for just an easy to watch evening.