The first full month after the AHPC, and that means I`ve been focussing on some other projects first not telated to painting figures.
Because, well, looking back I got quite a few things I want to finish before we hit 2020 and the moving of places... as well as for some big battles in the foreseeable future (aka between now and summer 2019 - tat move will come half a year sooner then first expected...).
Of course, more Middle Earth troops have been painted, firstly this month a group of 5 archers of Minas Tirith to fill out the ranks.
Of course, soldiers need leadership, or in the case of MESBG heroes to allow you to take troops to the battlefield, so enter the Steward of Gondor himself, Denethor.
As well as some small scenery pieces, this statue being the first of it and suitable for AoS, MESBG as well as BnB...
In the series "necessary small sideprojects", some additional movement trays for my Middle-Earth legions have been completed as well.
That means this month yielded another modest 11 models to the tally, not to bad at all post AHPC dedication... and the running around and administrative work involved in buying a new place to live!
As the force of Minas Tirth is being pulled to the 700 points goal for this year, and a lot of infantry has been painted up, it's time to start work on characters to lead it.
So who better then the Steward himself...
With only Faramir and a single Captain finished so far, I can't field enough models to make it a battleworthy force due to the "heroes and warbands" selection restrictions. As such, the first one to now be added is Denethor himself, Steward of Gondor.
Surely not the best of the characters in the rules, it is just fitting to have him around though. And of course, once he is finished, I will put Pippin in his warband as well to add some more Might to the army.
But for now, he will be commanding some warriors on the field of battle for the measly 35 points he costs, in all probability a bunch or archers, and hold back in the rear of the force.
As the Elves march to the field of battle to meet up with their Numenorian allies, Sauron has send forth two of his lieutenants to oppose and prevent the mighty Elven heroes Gil-Galad and Elrond of joining this Last Alliance.
Okay, so this is it, the culmination of our smaller scale skirmishes the pat months into the first full fledged MESBG battle, with all horns and banners of the rules included. Enter mighty named heroes, magic and balanced points costs, as we sat down for scenario 2 of the rulebook.
Noshi took along 419 points of her elves (the 400 in the title was just rounded out for easiness sake), and as such had a small band of only 9 models, but including two very strong heroes in the form of Gil-Galad AND Elrond.
I on the other hand had a lot more models, taking along 15 Mordor orcs with a hotch potch of gear (wysiwyg), led by two maxed out stats "basic" Nazgul, and a Mordor troll, culminating in 414 points. Basically everything I have painted up for Mordor so far...
I mentally prepared to finally win against Noshi, who is proving to be a very tough cooky to crack in this game... so my plan was simple, get the Nazgul to Transfix the heroes and the Troll to stomp them as they are prone...
The table was set up, using some of the older printed scenery we have at the club back from the days of Mordheim. So it is in this village that fate will decide if Gil-Galad makes it to the Last Alliance, or Isildur and Elendil will not see their ally show up...
Both forces are deployed, the elves taking defensive positions and ready to await the enemy coming their way.
The Mordor force starts moving towards the thin golden line, but soon the first of the orcs falls to the ground, an elven arrow sticking from it`s head.
Slowly but surely, the gap is closed and the forces of Mordor are preparing themselves to crash into the Rivendell lines. The mounted Nazgul (the one on foot was my general) starts moving around the side, hopefully getting the drop on some enemies engaged in combat.
Right before the Mordor forces make their assault, another one is shot down however. Unfortunatly for me (I mismeasured the gap, stupid me, in enthousiasm) the mounted Nazgul gets the drop on by Elrond and a swordsman.
The lines finally clash, and I hope my sheer numbers can overwhelm the Elves to get them broken, before the orcs are mowed down in numbers.
The troll does just that, smashing the first Elven casualty to the floor, but on the other side of the house it`s an orc that goes down against the shining elven blades, supported by Gil-Galad.
Against all odds, the Nazgul manages to wound a Transfixed Elrond twice, but Noshi saved one of the wounds using a point of Fate and the power of Vilnya.
The lines are now intermingled, and with my Mordor army bonus I might actually hold out in this one, as Gil-Galad joins the fray against the Troll before he can kill to many of the Elves. However, it is the measly orcs next to the troll that take down another elf instead.
On the other side, the forces keep pushing each other to and fro, while Elrond keeps getting Transfixed by a Nazgul whose Will points are starting to run low. I really need to take him out soonish or the Ringwraith will disappear.
But alas, a flash of Elven steel, and the Troll comes crashing down, impaled on the speartip of Gil-Galad's Aeglos. This is bad news, as the mighty beast was the one standing a chance to wound the Lord of the West had it just managed to actually win a fight against the lord.
On the other side, another Elf is taken down while Elrond, again Transfixed, is being ganged up by Orcs... and yet still they fail to wound the mighty warrior. He should have been taken out thrice over by now, but he keeps winning fights and get back up... but the elves are now one model above Broken and points I might actually score.
Oops, it doesn`t help if your archers make their only kill of the day... one of their own brethren. Life is indeed cheap in the service of Sauron.
The Mordor line is slowly but surely being reduced, and I barely outnumber my enemies now to be able to make my army bonus count. At this rate, I will be broken even before the Elves will, and with my not so impressive Courage that might spell bad news. It doesn`t help that the Mounted Nazgul disappears in thin air, after trying a Black Dart on Elrond to no effect as the mighty elf resisted the power, and he then swiftly cuts down the orc nearby.
My force now broken, two of the Mordor orcs leg it of the table...
The few survivors of the Orcs are now doing their best to score at least some points by trying to take out a fifth elf and breaking Noshi's force, but Gil-Galad is now in duel with my Nazgul general as well. Both generals will be fighting each other, but who would prevail?
One duel later, and the expenditure of Might on both sides, results in the Nazgul general being banished again, while a lone Orc is now standing surrounded by the two mighty elven lords and their warriors. The orcs do have their archers still, but those guys can`t seem to hit a barn door standing next to it today... and as one of them get`s charged, the other bravely legs it...
So it is down to the last Orc standing, who will surely cut down that one needed Elf!
Now surrounded on all sides, he swings his mighty two-handed weapon at the head of an Elf in front of him... only to be struck down moments before he could lower his blow.
Okay, tabled... there goes the plan... Noshi won with a mighty 10 - 0 score, as I kept failing to kill that fifth model from her band, nor did the troll ever stood a chance against Gil-Galad.
The two elven lords are truly strong forces all amongst their own, and decimated my lowly soldiers left and right with their high F and multiple attacks, and in hindsight I thought it a miracle that Elrond took so long to take out the Ringwraith, even though I couldn`t really finish him while Transfixing him all the time, unfortunatly draining my Will to do it as such...
So Gil-Galad made it to the Last Alliance, and as we all know, he was there to defeat the Dark Lord as a result...
And as you could see past week, I managed to find a small hole to finish those 5 archers.
Now, I also have been adding a variety of figures to the desk this week, like some dwarves and an Easterling. The goal of those is to paint one up and write down the used colours in my painting diary, in order to easily find it all back afterwards when I start serious work on the forces' expansions to first Battle Companies, and then game worthy forces.
I did make some progress on Denethor, as I will need more 'minor heroes' to lead my army of Minas Tirith. the force is the "back up plan" in case I don't get my Rohirrim painted to tournament worthy status this year, so all the rank and file will nead leadership on the table...
In the meantime at Paint Station Beta
Yes, I actually did some work as well on those Morannon Orcs over at Noshi's place. The armour hand metal of the weapons now has been inked with Nuln Oil and drybrushed again, the base skin and hair are prepared, so they are now ready to be transported to my place for further painting. And a fresh batch of them to be brought back and get the basic work done here...
Welcome to the report which will in all probability feature some of my last non Middle Earth purchases for a while.
Or anything not MESBG for that matter...
But first, let`s start with this AWESOME model from Bears Head Miniatures, which I found through Facebook: their Scholary professor, aka Professor Tolkien himself. He will make such a fantastic centerpiece for the painted forces cabinet.
Another arrival came through eBay, one that I have been searching for for months: the front leg of my Moria Dragon, so now I can completely assemble the model (the missing horn can be easily converted, so that never was a must find).
Also from eBay came the parcel I told you about that I would half be selling off due to the rearangements in the hobby, as the Eldar will be going again. But the two battlesuits should be all I need to get my force up and running now once they are all painted.
The Easter weekend is also traditionally the unofficial kick off of fleamarket season, and on Easter monday we went to a big one here in Antwerp. I scored the 6 DVD's of Prison Break for 0.25 cents a disc... not to watch the series but to use the discs as bases for my forests and other scenery. The three plastic animals will get repainted for a Lord of the Rings demogame me and Noshi will be bringing to Battling Through the Ages, the TSA opendoor in September. What they will represent? Wait and see in a few months!
For that same gamesystem, my order of Renedra also came in. Dirt cheap at 8 pounds per pack of two, these outhouses are great for littering the battlefields of Middle Earth.
The final additions to the collections is some work from my 3D printer, with a whole lot of Chaos suited 6mm models for Future War Commander.
Four months down the road, and the TSA 40k League is in full swing.
With evenings of 5 League battles at the same time taking place, I might be as cocky as to pat myself on the back with this one.
The goal I had when setting out on this road was simple: we had two groups of players playing 40k in the club, with barely anyone facing each other. This has now been a thing of the past, as people mingle, chat and have a good time battling a variety of armies and people.
Surely, not everyone will be able to play all the battles, but a points system that I worked out for the league, together with a hefty bonus for bringing at least once a full painted army along, makes it so that one day wonders or "picking on the little fish" in the League won't get you the trophy at all in the end.
The League is now entering the phase where the big fish are slowly coming into each others waters, meaning some very hefty duels are to be expected to take place in the not so far future. And like in any League, suprises do happen as some of the big guns leave behind a point left or right in match ups against the other people.
Well, let me give you a premium here, and something the participants will only learn about if they actually READ this blog page... the price support, totally sponsored by, well, me...
1st Place: a trophy and a 20 euro voucher 2nd Place: 10 euro voucher Best Painted: set of paints Last Place (must have played at least 1 battle): a destroyed Rhino scenery piece
Yeah, I payed for all of it myself, because I had estimated maximum a dozen people actually playing and didn't want to attack the club treasury for a small scale side project. Little did I know my optimistically made spreadsheet of 30 places available would be nearly filled up...
Me personally? I'm hovering around in the upper middle part of the table at the moment, not pushing for any playtime bar the weeks when my beloved has her monthly Heroquest session.
What this League is also trying to build up, is the momentum to launch the Tin Soldiers of Antwerp back into the tournament scene, especcially as an organiser to make the best and most of our old building before moving into the new one between now and three years in the future, where we will have even bigger facilities.
On the planning phase so far? A big Ninth Age tournament, and a smaller scale 40k one are the prime runners for the coming 18 months. But who knows what game might break out all of a sudden...
The club's fantasy and science fiction "department" has been running very well the past year, with a whole lot of members of around "my age" as well as the generation behind joining up, and actually getting to play a lot of different games. While 40k is at the moment the stellar game, with Age of Sigmar being in the ropes, Ninth Age is a solid presence on a weekly basis as well. And now both Star Wars Legions and Lord of the Rings are being presented slowly but surely as well again, so expect this scene to hopefully grow some more as well...