Building a Wizard’s Tower

One of the scenarios in the Sellswords & Spellslingers book demands a wizard’s tower. While there are several available to buy (from the plain Ziterdes keep to the formidable Tabletop World spire), I decided to scratch build my own.

The starting point was a box of pringles. I glued it unto another cardboard roll to, as I wanted to have it protrude from a rocky outcrop. The basis was provided by an old single record.

wip1

For the rocky outcrop, I used blue foam and chunks of tree bark. The basis for a small secondary tower was formed by an empty toilet roll.

wip2

The next step was to fill the holes and cracks with modelling clay (of the air-drying kind) and filler. I also made adoor for the small tower was made out of wood and a parapet for the top platform.

wip3

I then added some details. First, cardboard brickwork to break up the surface of the tower. Second, an oriel made from yet another cardboard roll. Third, the door and windows. I bought those from Thomarillion, as I didn’t trust myself to scratch build nice enough ones. And last, I made protrusions beneath the parapet. They will later carry the Gargoyles, which I also ordered from Thomarillion.

wip5

I then started to cover the whole structure with DAS air-drying modelling clay, an idea I got from Tony Harwood, who regularly uses this technique with great success.

wip6

Before applying the modelling clay, I covered the surface with PVA glue, as the clay shrinks and may otherwise come off when dry. Looking good so far!

wip7

The roofs were made out of cardboard cones, with small bits of cardboard for the tiles. This is a boring and mind-numbing work, but fortunately I’m used to it from other project and those roofs were actually rather small in comparison to some others I’ve made. The base was covered with sand and grit and PVA glue.

wip9

Now there was only the painting to be done… and, after a couple of days, I had my final result – the wizard’s tower!

t2

Advertisements

Cracking Christmas Game!

Some weeks ago, my mate Sigur was struck by a vision. ’twas the vision of Dark Elves trying to ruin Christmas for us all. Why not make a game of it, he thought? And he did!

4

It was indeed Sigur who came up with the idea of a special Christmas game. He also provided the evil Dark Elves and their leader, the nasty Greentch (a converted Troll shaman), as well as the good Ice Queen and her loyal bodyguards. And he exceeded himself with splendid winter terrain! Virago contributed Christmas gnomes, which consisted of delightfully converted goblins and dwarves. The scene was set for an epic clash between good and evil…

3

The attacker’s – played by Sigur and me – aim was to enter the houses and steal at least three presents. The defenders’ – played by Virago and his daughters – objective was to drive away the evildoers and save Christmas.

 

Everything was peace and quiet… until the nasty Dark Elves arrived. One group, commanded by me and led by Barei the Witch Elf, took the right flank.

raidersapproaching

The harpy immediately flew into the big house to its left and rummaged through the stuff. She was hoping for a nice jumper, as it was a cold and snowy night. One of the raiders entered the barn but had difficulties finding anything resembling a present.

The other group was led by Mr Greentch himself and was commanded by Sigur. The Greentch and one of the elves also entered buildings, looking for presents to unwrap.

greentch

However, the guardians of Christmas were on their way! Approaching fast, they relied on their archers to clear the way. Arrows were whizzing past the Witch Elf, who had charged forward.

defenders

And then the group were in range and battle was joined. The once peaceful streets rang with the menacing jingle of bells, the curses of Dark Elves…

 

… and the dull thud of a bauble hitting the face of an elf.

gnome

Although the raiders did manage to get some presents, their joy was cut short by the defenders’ relentless attacks.

SilentWitness

When the Greentch himself was taken out, the raiders’ morale plummeted and they started to fall back.

lastraider

In the end, none of the Dark Elves managed to hold on to a present – the few that got away were glad they had escaped the wrath of the Ice Queen and her little helpers.

Christmas was saved!

heroes

This was great fun! What better way to get into the festive spirit than a splendid game with excellent miniatures, wonderful terrain and, most importantly, good friends.

I wish all of you a merry Christmas, a wonderful Hanukkah, Kwanzaa blessings and happy holidays!

Sigur has published a much more detailed report with lots of pictures on the Skirmish Wargaming website, so head there for even more Christmas gaming goodies!

On the Painting Table

Painting is still going a bit slow. I’m slowly building up my 15mm Native Americans for the ACW and managed to finish a couple more of the Union Indian Brigade. I also painted another one of the Oathsworn anthropomorphic animals.

I modeled the fur colour after the tomcat living at our place!

Some time ago, I also received Annie’s Kickstarter and I finally painted up two of the figures.

BadSquiddo

On the painting tray are even more Indians – this time, Confederates. In the end, I want to have four skirmishers group of six figures for each side.

paintingtray

In the foreground, you can see some mounted Indians. They have been standing there for a while and I’m pretty stuck with those at the moment. They are from 15mm.co.uk and are not the best sculpts and castings, so painting them is a bit of a hassle. I’ll give them one more chance, otherwise I’ll put them away. The snakey guys you can see in between are 28mm serpentmen from EM4. They will be used for our Sellswords & Spellslingers games.

Last week, I suddenly had the desire to build something. I found a nice photograph of the Hilton Head post office during the Civil War and spontaneously decided to model this building. As always, I made the shell out of plastic sheet and added cardboard strips for the weatherboarding. It’s not yet finished, but it’s been a fast and smooth build so far.

house3

Last but not least, I got myself some pine trees. I’ve been thinking about those for a while now, as many of the ACW actions I’m gaming were fought in or around pine woods, and I finally caved in and got two packs. Let’s see how they look on the tabletop. The tiny animals will also add some detail to the 15mm landscape.

trees

Missin’ in Action 2018

Two years ago, we had organised a summer gaming event for friends out in the countryside. A month or so ago, K. and I decided spontaneously to do another such event under the title of Missin’ in Action 2018, this time however at our new house (which is in an area of town formerly called Missindorf, hence the name). The idea was to gather friends and host one or two miniature games out in the garden.

Unfortunately, the weather did not agree and we had to move it inside. Fortunately, people turned up nonetheless.

I chose Sellswords & Spellslingers as the event’s game and decided to have two rounds of games. The first was played with six people, of which only three had played it before. The rules are, however, easy to grasp and, being cooperative, work very well to introduce people into miniatures gaming. We played the ‘Healer’ mission from the rule-book and had to rescue the wise woman. My wizard teleported our archer onto the rooftop of the healer’s hut, where he skillfully covered the rescue operation, led by our intrepid halfling Leader riding his pig.

After a short break, reinforcements arrived in the form of Virago and his two kids. For the second round of games, we split a 6’x4′ table into two areas: One with a village in the middle, where one group played the ‘Defend the Village’ scenario, and another with swampy wastelands, where the other group played the ‘Through the Badlands’ scenario. The border between the two playing areas was demarcated by a river, with the added incentive that, if the group crossing the badlands made it to the ford, it could enter the other game and help defend the village.

c

The poor heroes defending the village drew a Brain Devourer as their main enemy and struggled hard to bring him down. Meanwhile, Virago’s elven family shot their way through the lizardmen and orcs standing in our way. My dwarven wizard helped to speed the journey by teleporting people ahead, but in the end it was the elves who did the hard work, killing one monster after another with their arrows. We even managed to reach the village, but before the elves could get off a shot, the Brain Devourer was brought down by the brave dwarven fighter.

This was a really great afternoon! I’ve definitely learned from last time’s mistakes: back then, I cramped all players into one game, which ground to a slow crawl as the rules were unable to cope with such an amount of players. Playing two scenario in parallel proved to be a good solution for a large group that nonetheless wants to share a gaming experience. Each game took less than 90 minutes, so it was pretty relaxed and there was plenty of time to chat. It seems that everyone, kids and adults alike, enjoyed the games and had fun. I’m definitely planning on doing this again next year!