So this is it, the final month of full time painting possibilities before preparing everything to start working in the new appartment.
And the goal was to push one army of Lord of the Rings to around "tournament sized" level to that end, so I can sleep easily should I see the chance to participate somewhere. I'm just in doubt wether to push for a Mordor horde, or an infantry based Minas Tirith force...
This doesn't mean however I won't be working on other stuff in between, as these entries for the month show.
The first thing of course that I completed are my GOUF based Crisis suits for my SEED Destiny Tau force, joined by the needed drones.
A small in betweener, these two softplastic 6mm trees have been painted up.
Talking scenery, these 6 pillars have been painted up as well for scatter terrain on the tabletop.
For Burrows and Badges, another one of the "civilian" passersby, whom I started last year, has been finished.
But as I said, Lord of the Rings rocks my hobby world, and a bunch of Morannon Orcs also joined the fray in the form of these 13 warriors, armed in a variety of ways.
On the part of Minas Tirith, these warriors with shield and sword also rolled off the painting band...
But so did the first of their "ancestors" with a batch of Numenor Warriors now completed.
For the TSA opendoor in september, the first rank and file trooper for the MESBG game I`m putting together has also been completed.
So that comes down to 43 models for this month, in what has in all probability been the final month of the year that I won't be painting mostly walls and ceilings...
The 6th edition of the Lord of the Rings game that Games Workshop released, and after years I jumped back on the bandwagon.
As people know, in every hobby I practiced, be it wargames or Lego, I always hover to the Tolkien side of the things, as I'm a real lover of his works. And it was no amazement that even with a VERY limited base at the club, I never the less went all in again last summer when the game was re-released.
In the early days, I played the first three editions, which was basically the book that came with each new movie of Peter Jackson back then. I skipped the 4th and 5th edition, as I wasn't present in the hobby anymore, but now blessed with a GF who likes (fantasy) wargaming, I'm getting those games in, initially with Battle Companies but slowly expanding the forces and he sizes of our games. And I will be playing in some FHL tournaments later this year!
The book contains of course no extended fluff section as other Games Workshop rulebooks, due to the fact that the story has been put to paper over decennia, starting as far back as 100 years ago almost. Add to that the license with New Line, and you are safe from range overhauls and 'Primarising' whole armies.
The Introduction section of the book is just that, a look at the profiles and how to 'read' them, how the engine works in large lines and the likes. Now, the profiles and game play totally different from any GW game, even though some of their historical gales of ages ago borrowed from this rule set. there is no Strength / Toughness roll off, no armour saves... no, the game plays more like most historical games out there. Also, if you want to play really massive battles, I recommend looking for the old War of the Ring book, where you play with units instead of models.
The Rules are well, just that: the Rules of the game. How to move, how to fight, what your wargear does, the ways to cast spells, what Might, Will and Fate points of heroes allow you to do... now, again contrary to the other GW games, these still haven't gotten major overhauls, and at the core someone who played in the first editions (like me) can just jump in and already know 75% of the game. The changes are mostly in the details as some things got finetuned over the course of the various editions instead of like both 40k and Age of Sigmar whom both got major overhauls and totally new playstyles in the last editions.
This rule section is as such split up in various sections, like the Turn Sequence, Move Phase, etc etc and coupled with a very extensive and handy index at the back of the book and with rules coming with numbered and corresponding example pictures, makes looking up something not much drag.
It even features a section of playing out Sieges, a very intricate part of the Tolkien lore (Gondolin, Helm's Deep, Gondor, ...)
Next we move to the Matched Play section, the rules to build and army and be able to take along to events. now, perhaps the biggest scene "an sich" in the event scene is that one no longer needs to bring both a Good and an Evil army like back in the days, as this was often a breaker for people. Now, there are rules on what to do if armies facing each other are actually from the same side... and an Alliance Matrix that gives penalties or bonusses if forces are drawn from more then one army list.
The Scenarios list is next with each of them detailed on what they encompass. These are general play scenarios, good for pick up and event gaming, and slowly but steadily I will be playing through them over the coming months.
Next up, the eye candy! Armies of Middle Earth aren't army lists (you will need one of the seperate two companion books for that, either Armies of Lord of the Rings or Armies of the Hobbit) but the gallery pages of the now already 18 year long range of miniatures that came out. Did you know that like the first plastics they made where sculpted by the Perry Brothers btw? Yes, Lord of the Rings is in a way a precursor to their historical company ranges...
The final part of the book contains some example armies of the contributors, so you get a feel on the size of forces in a standard game.
A greatly produced rulebook, that has some things in the system GW should better adapt to their main lines. Like an Alliance Matrix to nerf the current "soup" lists of 40k, or a decent, clear index. And I love the fact the book has been so tested that the whole "faq" section on the community is nothing more then half a page to correct some typos...
The second season has just ended of this flemish series about a female prison and all the (mis)adventures that go on in there.
And like the first one, it had a strong overarcing storyline, but an extra layer of intrigue has been added this year.
There is a new director in the jail, and she is one strange and mysterious cookie. Wit her arrival, and the removal at the end of season one of Kat by the antagonist Veronique, she slowly installs a reign of terror in the jail by salving and hitting.
Through these means, she tries to gain control over the prison, singling out the 'current' leader in the prison, Sam, by trying to bring Veronique in her fold. But Veronique has an agenda of her own however, which she broods on during the whole season and a whole series of seemingly small and odd decisions. She wants to escape and take revenge on the murderer of her daughter.
The two's agenda's at first seem to work perfectly in harmony, but Steve, a warden, slowly uncovers the truth behind the new director, and how she herself is here to extract vengeance on one of the other wardens, whom she got to know during her previous posting in the jail of Bruges. This all results in two power games, the one of the director to gain control of the population, and the one of Sam who tries to keep hers, running amoc in the jail, while Veronique bides her time to bring her plan to fruition...
Another strong season, and one that definitly begs for a third one, which hopefully arrives next year!
The first of a two parter, detailing the setting of Dol Guldur where the White Council takes on the rising power of the Necromancer.
And with that premises, it's time to have a look at yet another greatly produced fanzine, I'm really burning through these issues as they are so fun to read and nicely made, offering a variety of articles based around the MESBG game.
We open up with SBG Towers, a collection of small facts around the production of the magazine itself, a new and fun feature.
In Over Hill and Under Hill, James Baldwin takes us along in his first steps in the GBHL tournament scene. Being before that a painter and modeller, he took the plunge to be swept of the road and go on an adventure, and tells about his journey into the wider community in a very entertaining writing style.
In the third and final instalment of Tom's Top 10, he takes a look at the most undercosted top tier heroes of the Hobbit edition of the game, which was at that time in effect, and how some characters who got an "upgraded" version aren't necessary always the better version of the character.
The Siege of Dol Guldur is a scenario for a massive two fold battle. It details the battle of the White Council to encounter the Necromancer, who himself is at that time locked in a duel with Gandalf.
The Tactica article of this issue takes a deeper look at the pro and cons of the named Ringwraiths, and how they can be far more effective is used right then their stats line might look at first sight. With insights in how to best use their special rules and all, this is a handy guide to play with, or when faced with, the Nine.
Battle Report: The Siege of Dol Guldur, where the presented scenario from earlier on is put through it's paces on an amazing gaming table. And I must say, the result might be the closest you actually can ever get one...
In the next article, Summoning the Nine, we get a look at how Matt Davies converted and sculpted the Nine as they appear in the The Battle of the Five Armies movies, with the weapons and all on how they where shown on screen.
But that is not all on the converting and sculpting level, as the cutsom made Necromancer model aka Sauron) is also shown on how he came into being.
His future ally, Saruman the White, get's the painting masterclass treatment this issue, and the steps to create a stunning look for him are explained in the magazine this time round.
And then we wrap up this issue with the Hobby Blog, where the contributors of the magazine shed a few words on what they are currently working on.
A really nice issue of the fanzine, with some stunning work to be shown, a very tense battle report which I have to say, even unbiased, was one of the best I read in years over all sorts of official and unofficial magazines, and some great viewpoint articles.
Two days ago I was at the club to face Nemesis in a game of Future War Commander, of which you got a batrep yesterday.
And of course that meant I could make the tour of the played games again, and see what was rolling at the club this evening.
The Axis and Allies game continued this week.
Star Wars Legions was being played again, as the Rebels launched a raid.
In the Wild West, guns where blazing.
Marc brought along Swordpoint... in scale 2mm. Yeah, that`s even to small for me...
A german U Boot sneaked below the waves in this app supported game.
The Heroquest adventurers went on in making their stories.
A Ninth Age battle raged in full galore as the Tomb Kings faced the Lizardmen.
While dodging the camera, our club president was actually moved from his office to play a game!
A 28mm ancients battle took place tonight.
For the 40k League, two battles where fought, one putting Orks against Blood Angels, the other seeing kin-fight between Craftworld and Dark Eldar. (I forgot to snap a picture of that second game though, being playing myself and it finished faster then expected)
In the final game of the night, the North assaulted a confederate position.
Heikki in the meantime worked hard on getting his Kharadrim ready...
Now, I will be attending a bit less the coming months, but when I am able to go, I will make certain to snap some pictures and show you what is being played at our venue!