Heed the Call – Battle Cry Convention 2014

Nothing compares to spending a hot, sunny weekend packed together with like-minded people in a sports hall playing wargames! Especially if it is a small, relaxed and fun convention like Battle Cry.

Being the major annual convention for gamers in New Zealand’s biggest city (but surprisingly not its capital) Auckland, it surely offered a lot of program: Tournaments for Field of Glory Ancients and Napoleonic, Flames of War, X-Wing,  Epic, 40k and WH Fantasy, Infinity, Kings of War and many more. Boardgames and card games were featured, too, including different Magic the Gathering  formats, Munchkin, a Carcassonne tournament and demo games of new New Zealand made board- and wargames.

I did compete in the two day Field of Glory Ancients tournament this year and will give a report on the format and how my games went in two seperate posts. In this one I will give some impressions of the convention and show you some of the beautiful gaming tables and other attractions.

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Under Pressure – Original Sculpey and Fimo Soft press molds for walls and bases tutorial

Last week I put quite a bit of work in my  Dungeon project and also had a look what else I can do with modelling clay apart from sculpting one-of pieces. I came across  some very good resources outlining the use of pressure molds for creating brick or cobblestone textures on bases or duplicating bits (you’ll find a list at the end of the post). Most guys use greenstuff for the molds, but given that greenstuff is quite expensive I was wondering if I could use either Original Sculpey or Fimo for such molds and then make casts using the two kinds of clay or even cheap air-dry clay.

The plan was to make molds for different styles of brick walls to fit out my dungeon and some cobblestone bases for my Bones miniatures. I also made some molds of Hirst Arts pieces and some other bits just to see what results I could get.

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Knock on wood – Tavern base Tutorial

After a good Dungeon raid all that loot needs to be invested wisely in drink, gambling and a good sleep. The best place to find those things and maybe even a new quest or some entertainment is the local tavern. Without the proper basing you can obviously not enter an upmarket tavern, so that is where this tutorial comes in handy.

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Of ruins old – Reaper Bones Anirion Wood Elf Wizard review and painted example

We focused on beer and dwarves last time, but today it is all about elves.

Anirion, a relatively young elf from the Silverforest up north, made it his life’s goal to not only become as powerful as his mentor Alduriel, but to surpass him. After he read all the elven texts he could lay his hands on he soon realised that simple study will not make him an equal to the most powerful wizards in the realm. One of the few wood elves to ever leave the Silverforest he ventured out to seek secrets of old and to only come back after he unravelled them all.

It was late on this autumn day when he found his destination: The ruins of Jor-Adin, said to have housed an extensive library with copies of the works of the five arch wizards of the long crumbled empire of man.  Calm lay the overgrown ruins before him, but no bird was signing, no deer passing through. He spoke a short prayer to Corellon and ventured deeper in the ruins, his senses sharpened, his goal clear…

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On a good footing – Sculpting Simple Dungeon Bases Tutorial

While the wall segments are getting there, the miniatures still need some matching bases to stand on. The Reaper Bones Miniatures have in most cases prestructured bases, ranging between ‘broccoli’, rock or tile pattern designs. However, all of them have an irregular shape, so either one integrates the existing design in a proper base or one cuts of the whole base and makes a new one. I chose the latter, as I wanted the bases to be all of the same size and on the same level for small and medium-sized models. Not all of them need to be suitable for a Dungeon interior, but at least some need to be matching and not too out-of-place when being used on the room tiles I made. It follows a tutorial which will show you how to create four simple designs using Original Sculpey or a comparable kind of modelling clay.

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Defender of the beer – Reaper Bones Freja Fangbreaker review and painted example

Since I read about dwarves the first time one thing was clear: Those guys love their beer. A special caste of young male and female dwarves has the duty to not only brew the finest craft beer possible, but also make sure that a steady supply is maintained and that no Orc or Goblin will sully its purity with its dirty hands.

Freja Fangbreaker was trained from an early age in the secrets of crafting beer and the art of war. She defends the beer cellars of her home with her life and guards the  precious beer supplies on the battle field to keep up moral. Who ever comes between her and the barrels will find a quick death by her axe.

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Following in the footsteps of Hannibal Barcas – Travel tips for visiting the battlefield at Lake Trasimene

What is better than traveling through Italy,  enjoying the countryside and all those wonderful tastes and fragrances the local kitchen offers? Obviously to combine it with some wargaming related research. What is even better is if you can do it with someone special and get all the support in your wargaming/history nerdiness.

As mentioned in another post I am very interested in the history of the Punic Wars and the charismatic, sometimes even enigmatic actors in this conflict. Being in Italy on holiday and residing in Chiusi for some days it was clear that I had to visit the nearby battlefield at Lake Trasimene. Unfortunately I don’t speak much Italian and I could only find one official website in English covering the sites of the battle (the link to this and other sites is provided in the bottom) To help others to plan a trip or to know what to expect and figure out if it is worthwhile visiting the site some historical background, travel tips  and  on site photos can be found below.

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Dungeons and Beer – a hearty tutorial Part I

I mentioned in another post that I attempt to scratch built a dungeon interior to go with my newly acquired Bones miniatures. Yesterday I had a nice idea how to get away from boring wall segments and make the dungeon more appealing to the eye.

As I am painting a dwarven warrior at the moment I thought about where they would store their beer and naturally a dark place like a dungeon would be well suited for this purpose.

Well, I guess I am more thinking of Moria where all of the Dwarves are already dead and only remnants of life are still visible.  The plan is thus to have a wall segment that also resembles a wine or beer storage, complete with oaken barrels.

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Klaatu, barada, nik….*cough* – The dead will live again

I couldn’t resist and got a truck load of miniatures via the Reaper Bones Kickstarter. I mainly plan to use the miniatures for our DnD games, but also for the skirmish game Song of Blades and Heroes (and the dungeon crawler expansion Song of Gold and Darkness).

What would be a beautiful selection of miniatures (around 200 from dragons, to halflings, to wizards to angler fish men), if there would not be a dungeon they can dwell in? Thus I started to scratch build a dungeon interior and started painting up some Wargames Factory skeletons to populate it. They are a fragile bunch, but I like them much better than the earlier Bones skeletons (well, more poses, less static and less chunky). So while I like all the other Bones minis the skeletons had to be replaced. The skeleton sprue has been retooled in the meantime and an issue with breakage of some legs during transport is now resolved.

It follows a group shot of the undead dungeon dwellers as well as a couple of close-ups and soon there will be more posts focusing on the dungeon interior.

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