Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Lord of the Rings army lists for Kings of War

A couple of posts ago I promised to put up the army lists that I have created to play mass battle Lord of the Rings games using Mantic's Kings Of War Rules (freely available here: and so here they are:

Edit: Please find the latest list in my recent post.

The lists are very much a work in progress and not all units or characters are included yet so I would very much like to hear any feedback or suggestions.  This is particularly the case for the main heroes as Kings Of War is very much a game of massed units and not of all powerful characters, though the Kings and Legends book did give us a selection of these for each army.  It is from this book that I have based characters like Gandalf, Aragorn etc. to give them the more epic feel that they had in the books/movies however it is difficult to get the right balance and not making them overpowered or over/under-costed.  The only changes we have made to the Kings Of War rules are allowing units to change formation (costing a full movement and done around the centre point of the unit) and the Elite and Vicious rules now allow a re-roll of half the failed rolls rounding down.

We've been playing with these rules and army lists for a good long while now, tweaking as we go, and they seem to be playing well.  Just as an example last weekend we had a massive game on an 8x4 table, putting as much as we could into play.  Not exactly in keeping with the lore I grant you but a lot of fun (well not so much for me as I was trying to get the rules into some form that I could post up but Amy and my cousin were having a ball).  Here's a few pictures from the proceedings:

The armies are deployed

Gandalf  leads the warriors of Gondor

"Move it you filthy maggots"

The armies advance and battle is commenced

The Ents march forth

The field of play at the end, a bloody affair that resulted in a draw but with the forces of Sauron almost gaining the upper hand

Thanks for reading and again I'd love to hear your thoughts and suggestions.


Sunday, 23 November 2014

World of Twilight - Kickstarter Unboxing

They'll be a slight deviation to the scheduled blog post today due to a delivery I received this week from Twilight Miniatures for their World of Twilight kickstarter.

Two boxes jammed full of miniatures and more

I must admit that I'd had my eye on this miniatures range for quite a while, mainly due to the stylistic influence from Froud and Henson that I saw in them (I'm a massive Dark Crystal nut) and I'd even downloaded the then two rule/scenario books.  The game was simple yet refreshingly different with the use of combat stones rather than handfuls of dice being something I really liked and felt added to the feeling that the miniatures and artwork created of an otherworldly place much like, you guessed it, The Dark Crystal.  Your average fantasy game this isn't.

Anyaral, the setting for  World of Twilight.  This is the beautiful map which came as part of the KS reward and will soon be framed and hung

Now as much as I've prattled on about The Dark Crystal this game really is it's own thing with a rich background and story which weaves it's way through the now three (thanks to the KS) rule/scenario books.  Also if you make your way to the forums you can find posts which detail the history, ecology, politics and much more.

Now on to the contents of the boxes and the miniatures and paraphernalia that were waiting within.  Firstly each set of miniatures was bagged and labelled with the components all sub-bagged making checking through everything exceedingly easy.  It was obvious a lot of care had gone into packing the boxes which meant everything arrived safe and sound.  As for the casts themselves, you couldn't ask for better, there are barely any mold lines or flashing which means minimal clean will be required if at all.  This is actually the first time I've had the miniatures in hand and the sculpts are delightful, they ooze character and will be a joy to paint.

Now onto the miniatures and I'll let the pictures talk for themselves:

Gil Marsharl, KS exclusive (in resin)

The Fubarnii Empire

The Devanu

The Delgon

The book and gaming aids

A selection of the unit cards

Quick reference sheet and postcard

Branded template

Coloured resin combat stones

Coloured resin initiative counters, metal combat stones, dice and bag

Now all that's left is for me to to fit these in my painting schedule!


Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Deadzone - Plague paint scheme test

Just a small post today, I finally managed to paint something other than scenery for the first time in months and I selected the Plague faction from Deadzone, more specifically the limited Stage 1 from the Kickstarter campaign.

More images below

Instead of the fleshy look Mantic went for I took inspiration from Mass Effect husks, I always loved the look of them and thought something similar could work well with the Plague.  I'd love to get feedback on this so let me know your thought below.

When Roger woke up this morning he just knew it was going to be one of those days...

For my next post I'll be to be putting up my Lord of the Rings army lists for Kings of War.


Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Lord of the Rings and Gaming

Today I'll be talking a little about one of my passions in life, the world created by J.R.R. Tolkien and more specifically how that ties into my war gaming.
As you all know GW have created what is on the whole a wonderful range of miniatures based on Peter Jackson's vision of this world, and with those miniatures two wargames (the Strategy Battle Game and War of the Ring).  Now SBG is a fine rule set that is enjoyable to play and is a skirmish level game so covers small forces and fellowship/dwarf party sized games.  War of the Ring covers mass battles like Pelennor Fields and the Five Armies however I felt the rules left something to be desired compared to SBG and began looking for something else to use.  Luckily I didn't have to look far as I had already been keeping my eye on what was then a new gaming system from Mantic Games called Kings Of War, the rules ticked all the boxes for me as they allowed you to play massive battles without getting bogged down which in turn means you could just enjoy the game rather than having your head stuck in a book half the time (the rules are free to download here).

My Fallen Dwarf army from Miniatures of the North

Fast forward several years and we're still enjoying playing 'King of the Rings' as it has been dubbed and I have created army lists for a good deal of the forces based off the KOW lists but tailored more to get the right feel for Lord of the Rings (if anyone is interested in seeing these just let me know and I can post them up, they are a work in progress though).

This Saturday just gone we had a small 1500pt game before getting settled down for a Hobbit-a-thon (and the extended cut of Desolation is superb as long as you don't want a direct translation of the books to the big screen) so I grabbed my camera and took some quick snaps to show the flow of the game.  We rolled a pillage (objective based) game, which was fitting considering the setting of an Orc raid upon a Rohan village though in this case it was defended by an alliance of Men and Elves (perhaps a small skirmish before the Battle of Dagorlad).

The battle lines are drawn

As the Huorns clash with the Warg riders and the Ent and Great Eagle clash with some Orcs the brave Rohirrim charge the Olog-hai

The Rohirrim survive the initial onslaught on the Olog-hai and sensibly charge past it to assist the Ent with the hoard of Orcs while the more able Galadhrim march foward and slay the foul Troll.  The Great Eagle is slain by the Orcs who destroyed the Huorns yet they may have met their match as once they are done with the Olog-hai the Elves push forward to engage them.

Unfortunately the Elves are overrun by flanking Warg Riders however the stalwart Rohirrim still stand firm in defence of their village and see off the Orcs.  Gondorian Knight swing in after clearing the right flank but are peppered with foul arrows which halts their advance.

  With this the game comes to an end, the Orcs hold one objective while the Alliance hold two yet this is not enough to give them a victory and as both sides took heavy losses no one could claim they had the upper hand.  Both forces must pull back and gather themselves before engaging the enemy again but this time in much greater numbers...

This game took us a leisurely two and a half hours, plenty of tea and biscuits, and was great fun with the balance of the battle shifting throughout the course of the battle (the best moment was when the Orcs had utterly defeated one unit yet rolled a double one on the nerve test so the unit stood firm and proceed to butcher the Orcs in the next turn).  Next time I believe we'll be having a re-match and upping the game to 3000pts on an 8x4 table, should be fun!