Dave May Drops by for LotR

100_1330-dave-may Eager to try out some skirmish gaming, Dave May dropped by recently for some Lord of the Rings SBG – and we had a blast.

First Game:
The Dwarves would face off against the Uruk-Hai in 2 scenarios. The first was a scouting engagement with an unlimited number of bowmen allowed in the forces. This shows the weakness of bowfire, as both armies have very high defence ratings, there weren’t that many kills by bow. The game was settled by a meeting engagement near the board centre, as my Dwarvish Captain finished off Lurtz and his bodyguard after Dave had used Lurtz’s Fate early on in the game. This was a learning game for Dave, so we played with less than a dozen models each, and now he had a knack for the rules.

Onto Game 2:
With a full 400pts per side, Dave once again lead the Uruk-Hai – now armed with a Troll and 5 crossbowmen – into battle against my Dwarf force, now armed with an Ent ally and a standard.

100_1332-dwarves-trollThe scenario was a modified “Take and Hold” game, with a statue placed in the table centre to mark the objective. Various groupings of warriors would fight it out around the table’s perimeter, trying also to make it to the centre statue for the win. My best chance to take down Dave’s Troll was late in the game, when I had a chance to charge it with 5 Dwarves, 4 of which could actually reach. But it was not to be. One by one, with a nearby Uruk Standard Bearer, the Troll smashed my warriors; then met up with my captain and Khazad Guard bodyguard, (and smashed them too) on the way to the objective.

100_1342-the-objective2By the time my Ent and remaining warriors had entered the courtyard with the statue, I was outnumbered, leaderless and broken. Dwarves were failing their Courage tests, and fleeing the field – even the Khazad Guard. I decided to capitulate before getting tabled, and the Uruk-Hai won the day.

Great games David – you can play here anytime.

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Some LotR Dwarf Ranger Bowmen

100_1321-dwarf-rangersThese Dwarf Rangers are easy to paint. I deliberately wanted them to stand out from my other Dwarf models, so they’ve been painted with an easily identifiable reddish brown called Bloodstone, from PP paints.

This, plus the obligatory green capes (Reflective Green from Vallejo), make them easy to sort in a Lord of the Rings skirmish game, as regular Dwarf Warriors can also have bows, but they don’t have the same stats. And unfortunately, they don’t have the same bows – a Ranger’s bow is called a Dwarvish longbow, but is treated like a bow – so S:2  Range:24″.

I’ve had a box of these Rangers kicking around for over a year now, but I’m finally getting around to painting them up to give my Erebor army a little more variety. It can be very frustrating for your opponent to always be fighting Def: 6 and 7 warriors, always needing a 6 to wound. Plus let’s face it, LotR SBG is a scenario driven game, and constantly playing pitched battles is not the point.

Dwarf Rangers
Points on the table: 40     Time to paint: 2hrs
F:4/3+  S:3  D:5  A:1  W:1  C:4

War of the Ring Movement Trays

100_1319-dwarves-on-trayThis past weekend I received my War of the Ring rule book – yay! But I’d already bought some WotR movement trays weeks ago to use with the skirmish game. Why? They’re an awesome way to move your men around in the SBG game’s early phases, and help speed things up. When you’re too close to the enemy to use them, you start removing your models and splitting them up as necessary.

So, crazy me, I started painting these trays, because I know they’re going to get a lot of use whether I play WotR or not. WARNING: DON’T DO WHAT I DID!! Here’s what happened to the 6 trays I bought:

1 – I glued fine ballast to their tops (like I do with all my models, as pictured above)
2 – I spray-bombed them black (this adds an additional adhesive to the ballast)
3 – I drybrushed the ballast (like I always do)
4 – I painted the edges and some interior well tops brown (like always) and allow to dry
5 – Flock with static grass – done!
6 – Reinsert models into tray and display on shelf – ACK! THEY DON’T FIT!?

WHY?! Because, after you’ve gone through all this work, chances are a couple of things have happened:
1 – Your rock or flock has gotten inside the tray wells, and because they were a perfect fit to begin with, they no longer fit (even by 2mm).
2 – Your spray paint and final colour paint are too thick inside the well to allow a fit without scratching the well’s interior

So I started reaming the tray wells with an Xacto knife and making sure each circumference was clear of debris. But because I’ve glued everything so well (remember there’s a black primer over all the ballast too), the rocks and what-not come off in big chunks; and now I’ve got exposed gray plastic everywhere and chunks of crap all over everything.

Here’s what I’m doing in the future
1 – Glue ballast to the tops, but use sand and/or ream every interior well before the glue dries
2 – Use static grass sparingly in my final step.

Let’s face it,  the model bases in the trays do most of the work of decorating them. Be sparing with the tray’s own decoration and you won’t have the problems I did. You’ve been warned…

Saruman is Complete

100_1294-saruman1Hey kids! Want to know how to add 170 points to your Uruk-Hai force quickly? Paint up Saruman!

He’s white, so all you have to paint is his skin and the shadows of his robes (cream colour), and you’re done. The fastest 170pts of an army I’ve ever painted. But it’s a cool model nevertheless – right out of The Two Towers.

Saruman:
Points on the Table: 170pts
Time to paint: 20mins.

Mordor Troll is Complete

100_1276-mordor-trollI bought this Mordor Troll in England several years ago, when my brother Jeff was living there. He drove me all the way to Nottingham (3hrs!) so I could see the Mothership that is Games Workshop HQ – bless him. (Jeff, if you’re reading – finest gaming experience of my life to date , dude. Awesome.) I promptly bought $200 worth of minis there, as the prices in the UK were actually better than in Canada, with no added tax to boot!

This model is really hard to pose in any way other than its intended fit, so I have 2 Mordor Trolls that look virtually identical; except for the club. On this one I cut off the usual hammer/club (which I used on the base as scenery), and replaced it with a pinned Ogre Irongut club. Much better. And of course, will kill alot more Dwarves as a result. 

I’ll use this guy as an Isengard Troll in my Legions of the White Hand list, because there were no Isengard Troll models for the longest time. Soon my Mordor army will grow, and these models can do double duty. Below are the stats for Mordor.

Mordor Troll:
Points on the table: 100pts     Time to paint: 3.5hrs
F:7/5+(!)  S:7  D:7  A:3  W:3  C:3

LotR Dwarf Standard Bearer is Complete

100_1271-dwarf-standard1This Dwarf Standard Bearer is an integral part of my Dwarvish army. Why? Because he lets all my two-handed axe warriors roll again if need be. Hell, all the Dwarves need a re-roll, because they’re usually outnumbered in combat. Very expensive dudes.

This model wasn’t that hard to paint – but I did worry about the standard’s colour. In the end, all my Dwarvish command has a touch of red to differentiate them from the rest, so I thought the red was a good choice for an accent to go along with my army’s green.

Dwarf Standard Bearer
Points on the table: 38    Time to paint: 2hrs
F: 4/4+  S: 3  D: 6  A: 1  W: 1  C: 4

LotR Wild Wargs are Complete

Warg Chieftain and Wargs

Warg Chieftain and Wargs

It’s been awhile since I painted up some LotR minis, but these guys have been sitting around half-finished now for about a month, so I decided to finish them off with a game pending this Thursday at Jeff’s Cards and Comics.

The models are actually part of a Warg Rider box set, and while the riders themselves aren’t finished yet, I can still use the Wargs on their own as part of a Dol Guldur army or alliance. Before painting these models I glued 1/16″ rare earth magnets onto their backs, near the riders’ eventual positions. That way I can remove the riders if they are shot out of the saddle (Wargs are a very rare cavalry mount that may continue to fight, riderless) or use the models as pictured, as Wild Wargs.

Wild Wargs are fast at 10″ per turn, but apart from a strength of 4, are very average in everything else. They don’t even benefit from the CAVALRY rules. The Warg Chieftain is a whopping 75pts(!), and can issue heroic orders, but only to other Wargs. Makes sense.

Wild Wargs: F:3/-  S:4  D:4  A:1  W:1  C:2  Time to paint – 2.5hrs
Points on the table (1 Chieftain and 5 regular Wargs): 115pts

My First Ent

Quickbeam - who knew?
Quickbeam – who knew?

When the Dwarves of Khazad-Dum take to the battlefield, they can of course have any of the allies listed in the Legions of Middle Earth book; and one of those allies is the Fangorn army.

Unfortunately, to take an allied army, it must be led by its own hero – even a captain will do. But in the Fangorn army, the cheapest hero is either Quickbeam or Beechbone, both starting at 140pts! So, 1 hero it is – 1 model it is – from Fangorn. I like the look and feel of the big guys in LotR armies – but the Forces of the Free Peoples have very little diversity when it comes to big guys. The Ents are the exception, but they aren’t available to everyone.
This model has been kicking around the painting studio for 3 or 4 months now. As I finished the bulk of my Dwarf Warriors (only Balin is left) I thought I’d finish him too. He was done with about 3 colours of drybrushing, and clump foliage you can buy for making your own trees. I might try drybrushing some secondary colours into Quickbeam’s foliage, for an enhanced 3D look, but otherwise he’s ready to terrorize the bad guys.
Quickbeam: Time to paint: 2hrs   Points on the table: 140pts.

Khazad Guard are Complete

100_1156-khazad-guardAny Dwarf Warrior with ‘Guard’ in his name is going to be nasty on the battlefield – and these Khazad Guard are no exception. Khazad Guard are basically fearless, as long as their chosen hero is still alive. Their Defence rating of 7 (no shields!) is more than most than most warriors in LotR with shields.

These guys were fun to paint, but they had a lot of thin metal slag spirals coming off them. I initially made the mistake of painting their hidden faces with skin tones and ink washes, which, after I’d done their masked helmets, didn’t provide enough contrast. Their faces didn’t look like they were in shadow enough, and there was little depth. So I painted them black, and that solved everything.

Khazad Guard: F:4/4+  S:4  D:7  A:1  W:1  C:4  Time to paint – 4hrs. Points on the table (x8): 88pts

LotR Dwarvish 2-Handed Warriors Complete

100_1151-dwarf2-handedThe last of the box of 24 Dwarf Warriors are complete. These 8, 2-handed axe wielding Dwarves still have a pretty high defense value (D:6), but of course suffer from the -1 to hit roll because of their weapon.  So, while they won’t be winning combats without support from their comrades, they will be more than capable of killing them.

Unfortunately these sculpts are probably the worst of the 24. Their beards are poorly defined, and some contours are just a solid mass – paint ’em up however you want. This is in stark contrast to the Khazad Guard that I’m painting next – metal models with lots of detail and better poses.

I opted not to vary the colour scheme on these guys, from the rest of the 24. I’ll make sure the Khazad Guard are distinct, but these 2-handers fit right in.

Time to paint: 3hrs. Points on the table: 64pts (2-handed weapons are free).