Monday, 29 April 2019

Saga: Age of Magic - The Challenge (2)

2. Progress

A few days on and I have placed an order for all the extra figures that I want. Unfortunately some of them are currently out of stock, so for the time being I will need to concentrate on what I already have, along with the scratch building.

The Undead Legions

After playing a couple of games using proxy figures, trying out different lists, I'm not convinced the Behemoth is worth it and four Hearthguard seem a much better investment. The four units of warriors are a must and I love the mindless - though more than one unit of them would make moving them around really tricky and mean I was one Saga die short. I'm not sure the black knight is worth it, but will persist.

No significant progress on the figures.

The Great Kingdoms

No significant progress.

A rock attached to a base
The Horde

I found a rock and stuck it to a base with the aid of some DAS clay for the sacred ground piece. Well, it's a start!

A couple of mine shafts
Masters of the Underearth

More progress here. I started making the mine entrances, mainly out of balsa wood and coffee stirrers, built on cut MDF bases. The design is loosely based on photos of medieval mine shaft entrances, though my ones have manual winches rather than being operated by treadmill, for ease of scratch building. I think these are coming along nicely.

Metamorphosis of the sorcerer
The Lords of the Wild

I cut the bow and quiver from the lamia figure and drilled her hand to accept a piece of 1mm brass rod, which I fitted withe the (dragon-head) top cut from the wizard's staff of a different figure. Not finished yet but it's getting there. 

The primitive totem, in progress
I also started building the primitive totem, which I intend to look like an old tree with carved/painted snake design around it. I found a suitable piece of wood and made a snake to wrap around it out of florist's wire and milliput, and stuck it to a base. So far so good.

Emerging giant lizard - very much work in progress!
This list will also benefit from a list-specific titan model for when the ability Rise of the Spirits is used. With the concept of a giant lizard crawling its way out of the ground, I made a start on this using DAS clay. I'm not convinced if it will work out in the end but am giving it a try anyway. We shall see!

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Saga: Age of Magic - The Challenge (1)

1. Initial Thoughts

Saga: Age of Magic
Having picked up my copy of Saga Age of Magic at Salute and read it through several times (and even had a couple of practice games using proxy figures) I am extremely impressed with all the good work that has obviously been put into creating this new universe. It's inspired me to sort out some of those old fantasy figures collected years ago and put them to good use. 

So the first thing was to see what armies I could make up, without having to spend too much on buying new figures.

After a thorough sort out I thought that without too much effort I could have a crack at five of the six factions. Not bad at all!  And although I had an eminently suitable sorcerer figure it was clear that l wasn't going to be able to put together an army for the Otherworld faction without some significant outlay or a surge of creativity with the Milliput. Maybe that will be a project for the future.

Each faction in Age of Magic has a Sacred Ground unique to them, so I would have a crack at making these as well. 

So the challenge I set myself was to get an army done for each of these factions and have some games with them as soon as I can. How long will it take me to get five armies ready? That's the first question. And the second question is given my tendency to start projects off and lose interest in them before they're finished, would I actually complete any of these armies?

But I have a head start with most of them, so it's not as if I will be working completely from scratch, and some of the armies should therefore be easier to do than others. Here are my initial thoughts on each of them:

L-R: Black Knight, Behemoth, Necromancer, rebased for Saga
The Undead Legions

I'm starting here because I thought it would be easy to repurpose my Revenants for Age of Magic (after all, they were bought for Saga!) I was wrong - unless I want loads of units of Mindless. Never mind.

So here's the list I came up with:

Black Knight
1 x 20 Mindless
2 x 11 Warriors
2 x 11 Warriors (bow)
1 x Behemoth

I would need to touch up the Black Knight and Behemoth (a giant mummy), and buy the Warriors (I am taken by the Warlords of Erehwon skeletons). The Necromancer and Mindless are ready. But then I found a better Necromancer figure, so I've added him to the army.

After much thinking, I decided the base sizes I would use for my Saga: Age of Magic figures would be as follows. These are consistent with the base sizes I have used for other Saga figures:
Hearthguard, Warriors and Levy on foot - 25mm round
Hearthguard, Warriors and Levy mounted - 20mm x 50mm rectangle
Heroes - 40mm round
Creatures - 60mm round
Monsters - 75mm round

The crypt for the undead would be made from some graveyard terrain I have lying around somewhere.

Overall I would need:
2 figs rebase/touch up
44 figs from scratch
1 crypt to assemble and paint.

Not quite as simple as I had originally thought!

The Horde, newly based for Saga
The Horde

A sort through some old D&D figures came up with the following:

Sorcerer (unpainted)
16 x goblins [warriors] (6 unpainted)
8 x orcs [hearthguard] (unpainted)
3 x minotaurs [creatures]
1 x chimera [scourge] (unpainted)

Most figures needed to be rebased.

I'd scratch build the sacred stone from, well, a stone.

Masters of the Underearth - i.e. Dwarves
Masters of the Underearth

It seems I have quite a lot of dwarf figures. Sorting these out I came up with this list:

Warlord (unpainted)
2 x 6 hearthguard
2 x 6 hearthguard (heavy weapon)
1 x manticore [scourge] (unpainted)

I admit this is a small army and not a great list, but it will do for the time being.

I would have a go at building the mine shafts for this faction's sacred ground from scratch.

Sorcerer and Dragon (scourge)
Great Kingdoms

As I was beginning to realise that this project was going to be a bit more daunting than I had originally thought, it was good to find a faction that would be a much quicker build. Essentially, this would be a conventional Saga army with added fantasy elements. I would base the army on my Eastern Princes:

Sorcerer (needs basing and touch up)
3 x 4 hearthguard
2 x 12 levy (bow)
1 x dragon [scourge] (unpainted)

I'd need to buy figures to suit for the Champion and Paladin as I wanted these on flying mounts. And this list was good to have an excuse to use an old dragon figure!

I'd scratch build a statue/monument of some kind for the sacred ground.

A Lamia and some dinosaurs
Lords of the Wild

I love the idea of a lizardman force, and I had several dinosaurs already painted and based (with a game of 7TV2 in mind) that I could use. I came across a rather nice medusa/lamia figure that I would like to use as a sorcerer after a bit of simple conversion. The list that naturally came to mind was therefore:

Warlord (would need to buy)
Sorcerer (unpainted) 
3 x 8 warrior lizardmen [bow] (to buy)
6 x dinosaurs [creatures]
1 x dinosaur [titan]

I like the look of the North Star snake men (for Ghost Archipelago) for these figures.

I'd scratch build the primitive totem for the sacred ground.

However, when I play tested these lists out using proxy figures I realised that if I used my Skraelings for this army the only figure I would actually need was the sorcerer. (This assuming that dinosaurs and red indians go together). It's OK for the time being, but ultimately I think I will go down the snake man route.


The faction that is unlikely to be done. But at least I have a suitable sorcerer!

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

7TV Day II at Board in Brum

Extracts from the diary of an insidiious industrialist (aged 55 1/2)

The team pose for press photos
Dear Diary

I can only apologise for the lateness of these notes. They should have been written down in January but I have not quite been myself for a while. Work demands, doomsday devices, kickstarters, you know how it is. Sorry.

But enough excuses.

Mwahaha‼ At last my dastardly plans are approaching fruition, and the time to have my revenge on Mr Bond approaches. The scientists have finished their work and my secret weapon - the Apetopus - is almost ready.

So with that in mind, I brought the Apetopus, with myself and a handful of disposable blue-jump-suited minions, to a largely industrial area just north of Birmingham for field testing.

Test #1: vs the Stealthy Mr Mulholland

The Test: Obviously, the best way to test the apetopus for combat readiness was to send it out against an established force of known villains with an appropriately savage reputation. Shredder and his ninjas seemed the perfect choice. (Also, one of Mr Shredder's minions had previously worked for us, and had been threatening to take me to employment tribunal for wrongful dismissal, so there was a score to settle).

A typical post-apocalyptic inner city road junction
The two forces met at a typical post-apocalyptic inner city road junction and were swift to engage in combat.
The main attack team advance
Minions and ninjas faced each other and in a flurry of shurikens and submachine gun bullets bodies were rapidly falling on both sides

Ninja attack!
 Our unfortunate previous employee sadly fell in the combat, in what would probably be best described to the lawyers as an "industrial accident". Shame.

As minions fall, the Apetopus meets Shredder
Shredder and the Apetopus met in hand-to-had (blade-to-tentacle) combat while Baxter and I exchanged respectful and distant attacks and products were placed appropriately (Energizer Batteries demonstrating their considerably greater relevance to the action than Alka-seltzer).

Conclusion: The Apetopus looks great and does its best in a fight but can be pretty swiftly made into calamari when faced with an opponent with master sushi chef skills.

Test #2: vs the Devious Mr Wilkins

The Test: Some concerns had previously been raised over the utility (or not) of the Apetopus in seek and revover missions. Very kindly one of my fellow members of the International Consortium of Brutal Megalomaniacs along with his trusty spy and sniper henchmen and an assortment of yellow-jump-suited minions agreed to convoy a doomsday device across a more rural post-apocalyptic road junction so that we could attempt to steal it from them.

"Advance to the enemy!"
The Apetopus was duly patched back together and a new selection of minions were "volunteered" for the team and we set off again. And that is pretty much where the plan fell apart. 

The Apetopus leads the advance... the minions are systematically slaughtered and it comes under heavy attack itself
The minions, though keen, were rapidly picked off and the Apetopus had only just taken in the scene before it was subjected to a hail of gunfire and set on fire before it could eat its Frosties.

Oops... I seem to be on the wrong side of the table...
And finally, due to my rival's masterly use of gadgets, I ended up in a compromising position on the far side of the table where I could only survive attacks in the way that Bond villains can between different films.  It's a good job we weren't keeping score.

Conclusion: Back to the drawing board. We're going to have to rethink this one completely.

Test #3: vs the Speedy Mr Canty

The Test: A mock James Bond and support team were set up to face the hurriedly taped-together, slightly singed Apetopus and a fresh support unit of "willing" "volunteers". If we could defeat "James Bond" here (notwithstanding loss of minions, and as long as we don't have to seek or recover anything) we would be ready to become fully operational.

The test, around a number of desert buildings which might have been post-apocalyptic, was rather compromised by the smell from the toilets off-set, which was genuinely apocalyptic. The objective became simply to exit stage left before we were overcome by what was entering stage right.

"Run, as fast as you can!"
 Both sides ignored each other and made a run for it as fast as possible to escape the encroaching cloud of insidious vapour. 

Panicking minions come under heavy fire as the exit door fails to open
My minions made it to the exit door first but were singularly ineffective at opening the door. In their panic to escape, they were gunned down by the enemy.

Enemy minions burn as the Apetopus watches malevolently
 Helped by gadgets and fortuitous countdown cards, the Apetopus laughs in the face of the enemy.

The Apetopus delivers the killing blow
 The Apetopus attacks the last of the enemy minions.

Last man standing
It was particularly pleasing to use my capture bubble on "James Bond" and see him duly succumb to toxic toilet emissions. Nice to finish on a positive note.

Conclusion: The Apetopus needs to be patched up again *(again), and we'll need a few more "volunteers" but it's been a very good day and we're operational at last. Mwahaha‼


Thanks go to all the team at Board in Brum for hosting a great day's gaming, and quite enlightening to play in games where it's all about the narrative and having fun - and nobody keeps score because it doesn't matter. 7TV is that sort of game, and is brilliant for it. Lots of fun. If you want to find out more, other players have written much more sensible accounts of Board in Brum's 7TV Day II. Here are a few: