Thursday, August 28, 2014

Roman Auxiliary Archers (and a Belgian Grenadier!?)

A Few more things rolling off the workbench…

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version):

Roman Auxiliary Archers from Black Tree Design.

A Great War Belgian Grenadier from Great War Miniatures.

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

More painting… unless I get another game in this evening….?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

More Romans

(and a Great War Highlander!)

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version):

The whole batch for the last couple of days…

Five legionaries from  Black Tree Design

Two more Legionairies – these are from Wargames Foundry, but didn’t come with scutum or pillum so I got some extras from Black Tree Design when I was ordering the last batch from them.

Dwarf Legionaries!? (also from Black Tree Design)

Dead Legionaries from Warlord Games

An old, old Roman Auxiliary cavalryman from Citadel Miniatures.

…and now for something completely different

I noticed, yesterday, that Lead Adventure Forum had a Great War Painting Club thing going on right now… and I’M a Great War Fanatic… and I’ve got no shortage of Great War figures to finish up… so I thought I’d get in on the action and dug this fellow out of the drawer last night and painted him up and started a couple more I’ll post over the next few days. (The figure is from Great War Miniatures)

Entries to the club are supposed to be single figures. I’m not really used to painting SINGLE Great War Figures… I tend to do them in unit batches of 15-30!? So this was a fun and interesting experience… Perhaps I’ll do an MG team or a gun crew for later in the week – as it counts as a single based “figure”.

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Probably a few Great War things this week… them back to ancient things… maybe another game or two… 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Wolf of Iskedumdrum

The kids and I finally sat down to play another game of Song of Shadows and Dust. Often I set up games by coming up with two factions, we roll for objectives, set up the game and go… I take pictures and most of the fluff – the background situation, etc. – I come up with afterwards. This time the kids made up their own factions (with my figures) and came up with their own names (or ideas for names – which I them found rough translations for…) and backgrounds for their factions.

They are both working on assembling and painting their own miniatures for their own factions at the moment – hopefully we’ll see them in action shortly!

Iskedumdrum, 69 BCE


Magnus Malus Lupus is a rather corrupt property owner in Iskedumdrum. He is not above forcibly ejecting – or even murdering – occupants to take over new buildings. Recently he put an old hag out of her (and his) misery to take over one such building, but is beginning to regret that action. The “old hag” happened to be the grandmother of Rubia Cuculla – a young firebrand not to be trifled with!

Rubis Cuculla is out for justice. If she cannot get it through the Magistrate, she will find some way to personally ruin Malus Lupus…


Magnus Malus Lupus is aggressively trying to take over a few new buildings in a new neighborhood (“Seize the Suburb” objective). He gets 1 Victory Point per 50 points of defeated enemies, plus one Victory Point for each turn one of his faction is in control of any of the three target buildings, but suffers -1 Victory Point for each turn his rival’s faction is in control of a building.

Rubis Cuculla is simply out for blood (“Looking for Trouble” objective). She gets 1 Victory Point per 25 points of enemies defeated.

The scenario took place at midday - 12 civilians on the table. 


Magnus Malus Lupus – Corrupt Property Owner
Q 3+, C 2, 50 points

Foreign Bodyguard
Q 4+, C 4, 42 points
Armed, Barbarous, Heavy Drinker, Protect Leader

Cretan Bodyguard
Q 3+, C 3, 60 points
Agile, Armed, Bow, Protect Leader

Armed Henchman
Q 4+, C 3, 36 points
Armed, Bellicose

Q 4+, C 3, 27 points

Q 2+, C 3, 83 points
Hard, Street Fighter

Rubia Cuculla - Faction Leader
Q 3+, C 3, 60 points

Cretan Bodyguard
Q 3+, C 3, 60 points
Agile, Armed, Bow, Protect Leader

Armed Henchman
Q 4+, C 3, 36 points
Armed, Bellicose

Henchman with Javelin
Q 4+, C 3, 27 points

4x Henchmen
Q 4+, C 3, 27 points each

Blind Prophet
Q 2+, C 0, 8 points
Distracting, Slow, Short Move, Clumsy


Rolling for his Hard Drinking Foreign Bodyguard, he turned out to be "Slow" for this game. The Boy won the initiative roll and things were off and running...

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

The terrain – as set up by The Girl – for this scenario. Magnus Malus Lupus and his men are entering the table on the left. Rubia Cuculla and her men are entering from the right. The three target buildings are marked with chests on the roofs.

Magnus Malus Lupus looking to expand into an new neighborhood.

Rubia Cuculla and her hanchmen ready to spread out to defend the neighborhood.

Turn One: The Boy goes first. Magnus Malus Lupus rolls two successes and parades into the neighborhood ahead of his men calling for them to follow (issuing a group move order). The Boy rolls a one and two twos… turn over. They were hesitating... something just didn't feel right about this neighborhood... 

Meanwhile, on The Girl’s end of the turn, she has better luck with the dice and contacts two of the target buildings, putting The Boy 2 victory points in the hole!?

Turn two… as before Magnus Malus Lupus rolls two successes. He declines to move any further into the neighborhood without his gang and issues another group move order. The Boy rolls two ones and a four… so the gang catches up.

At the bottom of the 2nd turn The Girl gets two guys in contact with the third target building and The Boy is now down 5 victory points!

On his next turn his guys get two actions and he cleverly gets one guy in the corner contacting TWO of the target buildings – so at least The Girl isn’t putting him 3 points in the hole each turn any more! Not sure if that's totally legit, but I let him do it since things were going so badly for him... 

The rest move out into the square by the neighborhood well.

On The Girl’s half of the turn her Cretan Bodyguard knocks down the leading henchman in the group and The Boy is now down 6 victory points….

We began to wonder about that – perhaps he shouldn’t be able to lose more than he’s gained…? Not allowed to go into the negative victory points….? This seemed a little harsh!

On The Boy’s turn he moves Magnus Malus Lupus once and that ends his and the downed guy what was not able get up was finished off by The Girl’s Cretan Bodyguard. 

On The Boy’s next turn he got Magnus Malus Lupus moving towards the third target building – hoping he may be able to at least contest it so he would stop losing points he didn’t even have yet (but not before he lost one more victory point)! The rest of the gang started moving through the square under withering fire from The Girl’s Cretan body Guard – in The Girls’ turn her Cretan Bodyguard shot The Boy’s Cretan Body guard who was recoiled by her arrows – and a civilian fled (on short) away…

On The Boy’s next turn he got Magnus Malus Lupus in contact with the third building so he would no longer be losing points. The Gang got one action so The Boy’s Cretan Archer fired back recoiling his opposite. The rest declined to move – partly to stay together as a group. Partly because the Foreign Bodyguard couldn’t move much further anyway otherwise he’d be beyond one long form the leader – something a bodyguard isn’t really supposed to do!

At the bottom of the Sixth Turn The Girl’s Cretan Bodyguard took down The Boy’s Foreign Bodyguard (and moved up her Blind Prophet).

The Boy, seeing no way out of this mess, conceded and fled the field with is remaining four faction members – dragging the bodies of the two fallen members with them… as it turned out the Foreign Bodyguard was seriously injured, but made a miraculous recovery and gained the Lucky special rule! The Henchman was not so lucky – his serious injury left his leg permanently crippled and thus gained the Short Move special rule.

The Girl Scored 7 Victory Points – 4VP for the faction members that fled the field and 3VP for the 78 points worth of foes her forces took out.

The Boy… ended with -8 Victory Points. I think in a campaign we’d call that zero – rather than taking away from points gained in previous games. I think the negative victory points should be counted for the scenario though – if it had been the reverse (The Girl with a not-so-great faction for the objective, setting up poorly, and having bad dice rolls) the boy could have racked up 8VP for himself – which The Girl would be hard pressed to recover from…

I had kind of wanted them to, despite all the wonderous toys I have available, design a faction with figures that I have that they would be able to make with the figures they have – so they could see how it works out. The boy, as I had kind of predicted, took a small number of high-point, hard-hitting brutes… which, I’m hoping he realizes, was PART of his downfall here.

I like “Seize the Suburb” it forces players to split up their forces and prevents a simple brawl in the center of the table… sometimes… You do need numbers to do this, though – enough to contest all three, with a large enough group of others to go clear off enemies from one building to start scoring Victory Points.

As the last week of our summer wraps up I’m hoping we’ll get in a few more games – next I’ll probably get them to try building some different warbands with their fantasy figures as we’ll be running a Song of Blades and Heroes/Song of Deeds and Glory campaign starting in September.

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

More games. More figures painted – I have a bunch of Roman Legionaries I’m just finishing up. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Bad Legatus

My friends Dave and Patrick stopped by Thursday evening to try out Song of Shadows and Dust. It’s been a busy few days and my memory of exactly how things went down, turn to turn, is fading quickly… but I’ll do my best to relay the highlights of the action!

Iskedumdrum, 69 BCE


Quintus Malus Legatus was the bright shining star of the Iskedumdrum Militia when he joined 15 years ago – rising quickly and gaining a reputation as a steady, dependable, man who could get things done. Many still remember him thusly, and turn a blind eye or refuse to believe some of his more recent activities. Over a decade and a half of dealing with the worst elements of society, seeing many of the guilty get away with the worst sorts of crime due to political connections has had a telling effect on Malus Legatus.  First he became hard and jaded and disaffected, and then became utterly corrupt – taking bribes, extorting “protection taxes”, and more recently taking a more active hand in the criminal underworld – using his position as an officer of the militia to remove his rivals…

Publius Vindicus Consultus is a young magistrate in Iskedumdrum. He is determined to root out corruption within the militia. He wants to make an example of Malus Legatus!

Mad with power, Malus Legatus has become brazen and believes himself untouchable – he is at the point where he is even willing to risk open confrontation with the magistrates men in the streets..


The magistrate needs hard evidence and has decided to try and capture one of Legatus’ men to be tortured and interrogated. They score 1 Victory Point for every 50 points of opponents defeated and a bonus 5 Victory Points if they can capture and drag one of Legatus’ men off their own table edge.

Malus Legatus is out to teach the neighborhood why you don’t mess with Malus Legatus. They only score 1 Victory Point for every 100 points of enemies defeated, but score 10 Victory Points if they can retrieve a bee hive and deposit it in the building of a businessman that’s been a little behind in paying his “protection tax”.

The scenario takes place in the scorching heat of midday – only 12 civilians are in the street.


Qunitus Malus Legatus - Grizzled Militia Officer
Q 3+, C 3, 96 points
Armed, Dogged, Leader, Threatening

Veteran Militiaman
Q 3+, C 3, 50 points
Armed, Bludgeon, Determined

Militia Archer
Q 4+, C 3, 45 points
Agile, Bow, Steadfast

2x Militiamen
Q 4+, C 3, 39 points each
Armed, Bludgeon, Steadfast

Henchman (informer)
Q 4+, C 3, 27 points

Publius Vindicus Consultus - Magistrate
Q 2+, C 2, 100
Demagogue, Determined, Tribune

Frantix – Foreign Bodyguard
Q 4+, C 4, 42 points
Armed, Barbarous, Heavy Drinker, Protect Leader

Armed Henchman
Q 4+, C 3,  36 points
Armed, Bellicose

4x Henchmen
Q 4+, C 3, 27 points each

Blind Prophet
Q 2, C 0, 8 points
Clumsy, Distracting, Short Move, Slow


Rolling for his Heavy Drinking Body Guard – Patrick found his drinking today had made him a Combat Master!!

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

The setting for the action. The behive is tucked in the carner behind the irritable mule and the target building is the one at the bottom right of the picture (with the chests stacked against it). The magistrate’s men can be seen entering from the top right. A few of Malus Legatus’ men can be seen at the top left.

Malus Legatus spots that meddling Vindicus Consultus and his men approaching.

Innocent civilians standing about the square unaware of the confrontation about to take place.

Legatus’ militiamen march past Mad Abdul’s carpet stall…

The standoff in the street.

Legatus’ men rushed in trying to block the magistrate and his men from advancing further so the militia archer could get to the beehive in the corner.

I can’t quite remember who struck the first blows… I think it may have been the Magistrate’s men. The civilians – that Patrick had hoped might join his cause – scattered.

The Veteran Militiamen was the first of them to go down – clonked on his head and knocked out cold. This Patrick decided would be his target for capture – Legatus’ Right Hand Man. Frantix, the Foreign Bodyguard of the magistrate, also took down the Milita Archer before he could get to the hive.

There was a little confusion about the details of how capturing someone worked… in the rules is explains that at any point during the player with the Abduction objective could choose to change a kill result to a fall, it then took two action to bind and lift a captured enemy… it also said that if the carrier was attacked that a captured enemy would be dropped and should be placed lying down on the table and could then get up…?!

So we weren’t sure if ANY fallen opponent (beaten, even roll on dice) could be captured – as long as there was a standing rival in contact with him that could spend two actions to bind and lift them? Or did they HAVE to get a “kill” – which would then be considered “knocked out” who could be bound and carried off at the player’s leisure.

If a captured person was dropped an did manage to stand up were they automatically unbound and able to fight again normally? How would they have gotten their weapons back?

To keep things simple for the evenings scenario, I said that the abducting player had to score a “kill” result (doubled) – but not “gruesome kill” (tripled) – to “knock out” someone. One action was required to bind them, a second action was required to pick them up or grab them to drag away. If they were then contacted they would drop the captured opponent, but once captured the opponent was essentially just a marker (as in the Rescue objective) that either side could “pick up” for an action and drag or lead away as they see fit.

The scrap continues – Legatus’ men were constantly hindered by the presence of the extremely distracting Blind Prophet…

For some reason Vindicus Consultus decided to push through the melee into the square – perhaps he wasn’t feeling much use loafing about in the back – and so decided to march into the square and try to rouse the citizens against the corrupt militiamen.

Sadly he was cut down by Malus Legatus himself – not close enough for any of the civilians to join in…

But close enough to his own men to cause most of them to flee!

Things were looking pretty bad for the Magistrates men.

But then Dave choked on an activation roll  and someone rallied the magistrates men: “Lads! Lads! We can’t leave the magistrate lying in the street there! We can’t let Malus Legatus get away with this!! Let’s go back there and get ‘em!!”

Frantix the Foreign Bodyguard, mad with rage, took on TWO militiamen!

Frantix was recoiled from the Militiamen. One of the Magistrate’s henchmen beat down Malus Legatus’ henchman who had just picked up the bee hive…

Which unleashed a swarm of angry bees… Malus Legatus and one of his militamen were knocked down by this – rolling about on the ground trying to get angry stinging bees out of their segmented armour!

Frantix took down another militiamen. The magistrates henchmen just could not get ther veteran militiaman bound and lifted… so many failed quality rolls… the Militia still hampered by the Blind Prophet’s presence…

Malus Legatus took to scaring off the Magistrates henchmen by bellowing threats to put out the eyes of their families and sell their daughters into Syrian brothels and such…

The game eventually ended due to the death toll… I think Frantix took down this last Militiaman he was fighting…

In the end, three of the magistrates men had fled the table and one henchman had been cut down along with the magistrate himself. Just over 200 points worth of troops defeated or fled netted Malus Legatus 2 victory points… Checking afterwards, the Henchman died of his wounds, but Magistrate Publius Vindicus Consultus luckily escaped serious injury and apparently the Fortunes smile upon him because he gained the “Lucky” special rule!

Malus Legatus had lost two militamen, the archer and his henchman (the one we decided was an “informer”). Enough to give the magistrate 3 victory points! The archer, the hemchman and one of the militiamen all died. The remaining militiaman was seriously injured and would suffer a permanent -1C.

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

The kids are asking to play a Song of Shadows and Dust game today – perhaps there’ll be a second game report posted later this evening! 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Game Plan 2014 – Fall/Winter

It’s feeling like summer is drawing to an end already. Says are getting shorter… evenings cooler… and so my thoughts turn to what I’m going to be doing for the rest of the year. There has been a lot of other planning at my place lately – mostly classes and activities for the kids, and Amanda, and even me! Honestly I don’t know how were going to fit everything in.

Looking back at the last Game Plan 2014 Update I was mostly considering what I was going to be painting over the next 6-8 months. Not a lot has changed, I’m mostly planning on working on much the same stuff. I may not reach my objective of painting more than I’ve purchased… but I’ll be close… and I’ll do WAY better next year! (This year’s acquisitions were skewed a bit by the 400+ super cheap plastic Hät figures – at $7 per box the whole shebang was about $100 and worked out to 25¢ - or less - per figure… who could pass up THAT action!?)

Anyway, the plan…

Song of Blades and Heroes Campaign

From September to November I’m going to run a A Song of Blades and Heroes/Song of Deeds and Glory campaign on Saturday evenings – when I’m not playing in the GURPS Modern Horror Campaign (see below). Why Song of Blades and Heroes and not Song of Shadows and Dust right away? Well I HAVE enough figures I could supply warbands for SoBH for any number of players right now – and some other players could currently supply their own warbands (and I’ll be encouraging some of the others to work on their OWN!). This will also give us time to all build more factions and terrain to run a proper SSD campaign in the new year.

GURPS Modern Horror Campaign

What the WHAT!? My friend John is threatening to run a GURPS Modern Horror Role-Playing campaign starting in October – once a month for 10 months. I’m actually pretty excited about the idea of PLAYING in a role-playing game… even if it is GURPS…

Other Role-Playing Games

I’d like to run a role-playing game for the kids (and possibly some friends) in the fall, but I haven’t quite figured out when or what… I’m thinking I will probably use  A Tale of Blades and Heroes and run a campaign set in Greek Mythology or the Roman Empire in the first century AD (perhaps using some stuff from Cthulhu Invictus…?). maybe I’ll run both over the winter… I’m really torn – both seem really appealing to me right now.

Song of Shadows and Dust Campaign

As mentioned above I’m planning on running a Song of Shadows and Dust campaign in the new year. Over the next few months I'll be working on some new figures to build new factions or add options to factions I'm currently working on. I hope some others around here might build some of their own factions!! I also plan on building a whole lot more buildings so that I'll be able to run a few games concurrently. 

Board Games

I’ve been playing a lot more board games with the kids lately. They’re both getting old enough to play some more sophisticated games and we’ve been trying out ones I’ve been sitting on for a couple years – mostly ones thematically related to stuff we’ve been reading about in the history we’ve been studying. This week we’ve been kind of crazy about Smash Up (which is not-so-thematically related…), but some of the other thematically related games I have lined up to try out include Ra, Parthenon: Rise of the Aegean,  Quo Vadis?, Ostia, The Hanging Gardens ,  Palatinus, Ostrakon and Conquest of the Empire… and I wouldn’t mind getting in a few more games of Ur or Ark… or some other not-so-thematically-related favourites such as Small World, or any of the Munchkin we have.


While I’m not really planning on doing a DBA or HOTT campaign for the 11th Annual Tim’s Wargaming Birthday Bash/Winter Wargaming Weekend as I had been thinking of at the time of the last Game Plan 2014 Update , I would still like to at least finish up the New Kingdom Egyptians and Nubians, and at least TWO (of five) Greek Hoplite armies, and something to fight my Early Imperial Romans. I would definitely still like to run a Greek City State campaign at some point – as well as a Roman Civil War and a Campaigns of Alexander and/or Wars of the Successors campaign(s) – as I HAVE figures for all those… just got to get them painted… For now though… just enough to play a few more games “thematically related” to our studies.

Painting, Modelling, and Terrain-Building

In the immediate future I’ll likely be working on ancient and fantasy subjects for the remainder of the year – mostly individual figures and terrain for A Song of Blades and Heroes or Song of Shadows and Dust, but, as mentioned above, I would also like to get a few DBA/HOTT  armies finished up as well.

Probably in November/December our Reaper Miniatures Bones II: The Return Of Mr Bones! Kickstarter figures will be arriving…. Theoretically those are “for the kids”… so hopefully it shouldn’t affect my plans.


Earlier in the year I had been thinking I’d run stuff a ToonCon again this year. I had fun running Force on Force, Ambush Z  and Wargaming Nineteenth Century Europe 1815-1878… and I thought I might run some “Song of…” games this year… but then I just got feeling overwhelmed by all the other stuff going on this summer and fall and decided to give this year a miss… It seems I get to them every other year… so… maybe next year.

Great War?

The great War projects have fallen by the wayside somewhat this year… Maybe next year… I would still like to do the Canadian Corps attack of Vimy Ridge in 2017… (See Vimy Project Planning)

and finally, thinking ahead into 2015... 

11th Annual Tim’s Wargaming Birthday Bash/Winter Wargaming Weekend

Well, considering the success This Year’s skirmish campaign I have decided to put off the DBA or HOTT Greek campaign for another time and instead run a Song of Shadows and Dust campaign – perhaps incorporating some of the more detailed campaign/faction building rules from Song of Deeds and Glory for the “main event” on Friday/Saturday. Then, following the Same Format on the Sunday we will play a thematically related boardgame: Conquest of the Empire… and any other (shorter) board/card games we happen to be able to cram into the remains of the day… but more on that in a couple months… 

More Ancients

A few more items for some ancient skirmishing or role-playing – most likely to be seen in the mean streets of Song of Shadows and Dust.

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version):

An assortment of stuff, mostly from Black Tree Design.

More archers from Black Tree Design. There was a fourth one in the pack, but his bow broke and is in need of mending/re-fabricating... and I just haven't gotten to that yet. 

Some more citizens to populate the streets – the two flanking figures are from Black Tree Design, but the one in the middle is from Warlord Games.

Prisoners from Black Tree Design - these were all from “Druids and Captives” sets – presumably captives that were going to be sacrificed (or perhaps sold as slaves to Rome…). I intended to use them as slaves or as a marker for the Rescue or Capture objectives in Song of Shadows and Dust.

Finally some Casualty markers (also from Black Tree Design)… I think they’re supposed to be Celts, but I hoped I’d be able to pass them off as assorted armed civilian/faction members.

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Still have that game report to finish up…

I’ll probably get a fair bit of painting done over the next week. Amanda is away in Prague for a couple of weeks – well one week in Prague at a conference and another week hanging out in Eastern Europe… 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Scorpion Men and Cretan Archers

Near the end of July Black Tree Design had a 50% off everything Summer Blowout Sale and I picked up… a few things… mostly items that would be useful for Song of Shadows and Dust, but also a few other odd and sundry iteams.

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version):

Cretan Archers – which could be used as “Cretan Bodyuguards” in SSD.

I just happen to be reading Cthulhu Invictus and planning to use it as a setting for a A Tale of Blades and Heroes campaign… and in one of the adventures there happen to be scorpion men… and Black Tree Design just happen to have the scorpion men… so… here they are…

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

We played a game of Song of Shadows and Dust last night and hopefully later today I’ll get around to posting a game report of that.

After that…? more ancients of one sort or another. I had hoped to get Egyptian and Nubian DBA armies doen for the first of second week of September… but that seems to have been derailed in favour of finishing up more stuff for skirmish games and role-playing…