Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Lombards for the Win! More battle reports.

My co-conspirator and ninja-brush monkey Neldoreth has posted the results from 'A Visigothic Romance' on his site.

Please see

I'm pretty sure those of you who drop into Villa Visigoth are regulars his grand site, but in case you aren't or missed it, please have a look.

Yeah! 'Visigothic Romance' sounds like Friday nights around here. When me and the Hippy-goth liberate some bottles of Merlot and sack some spicy pasta from one of the many quality food places in the area and dance all night to Tom Jones and Bollywood hits.

Ok, the Visigothic Romance tourney is notable for many reasons.

1) I won it.

Which really doesn't happen as much as you think. Yeah you say, 'Mister Teenage Visigoth is a badass DBA death slinger' but really I'm not. I like chump armies. I like anti-hero armies. Perhaps I'm a masochist. Who knows.

2) I won it playing an army I didn't paint.

Despite the fact I am back painting commissions, I really believe 50% of this hobby (if not more) is painting you own stuff. I was chuffed to have been able to loan out 4 of my armies for the tourney (especially those Saxons. Damn they have mojo) and could have played any variety of Germanic horde from them. But I like to keep moving, y'know. I passed my recently acquired Lombards to the wonderful and slighly off-kilter Mike J. to prep them up, whilst I splotched ink on endless Samurai sode. And a fine job he did of it too. The Lombards acquitted themselves quite well that day.

3) I won it but lost more battles than I won.

The nature of the tourney was pretty much the same as I used. Get points for you general killing stuff and being al heroic and such. So I did. I lost to the Mark W's Visigoths (as N says he is good, but had a wheelbarrow of 6's with him) and as well to Bill's Ostrogoths as we both set up a 'hollow centre' stratagem.
Note to aspiring tacticians, psiloi are much better at that than bow units. Still I landed points as my hairy horsemen crunched their way to glory. It was against Terry's Saxons that I scored best. Sure, all things being equal,  knights vs warbands is pretty much a forgone conclusion. But things were not equal. Devious terrain, lots of good Saxon pips and damned cold blooded strategy gave the Saxonites initiative for the first half of the game.  But just as Terry needed it, Wotan deserted him, giving him 1's for pips. Much to my relief.
The roll-off was just lucky and it could have gone either way with Mark S. 

So know you know the facts, you can understand my somewhat understated victory dance. I was propped up due to luck and others misfortune. Which, if you do know much of the late Empire and early 'barbarian' kingdoms is pretty much how things went. How very thematically appropriate.

My throne is unsteady....

So yeah. That's my side. No pictures as I had to give the Hippy-Goth the camera for that day. (We share) Go look at N's pics.  

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Samurai Night Fever Game Results.

It took digging, but I found the crumpled stack of papers. Sigh...organizationally challenged for sure.

Here is the list of Bushido points won by the players through their valour.

9 points.
1st place
Joe Crow-Mongol Conquest IV/35
Awarded the Red Katana of Awesomeness

8 points.
2nd place
Mark Stadel-Alan II/58
Awarded the Blue Katana of Bodaciousness

8 points.
3rd place
Don Ray-Southern Dynasty Chinese II/79b
Awarded 'Best in Show' Barker Marker

6 points.
Mark Wall-Early Samurai III/54
Rob Elliot-Golden Horde IV/47

5 points.
Marco Musa-Early Samurai III/54
Mark Leong-Ming Chinese IV/73

4 points.
Mike Johnson-Post Mongol Samurai IV/59b
Sean Devitt- Early Samurai III/54

3 points.
Terry Silverthorn-Mongol Conquest IV/35

2 points.
Liam Devitt-Post Mongol Samurai IV/59b

0 points.
Bill Seney- Han Chinese II/41a

I was very pleased to see a Mongol Conquest army take the top spot (albeit narrowly) amidst tight competition. I continue to suggest that it is not the doomed 'great in history, crappy in the game' army many on-line DBA pundits claim it to be.

It was very gratifying to see the breadth of 'eastern' and 'asian' armies contributed to the games and their utter gorgeousness. I loved Mark S's Alans, very scruffy and steppe-ish. As always Joe Crow and Mike Johnson do an ne plus ultra presentation of their craft. Don's Southern Dynasty army had a vivid energy which quite entranced me and with the wobbly jumbo depicted such a strong definitive character. Kudos too to Rob Elliot's Golden Horde, I wish I had more and better pictures of it. He chose a very heterogeneous mix of figures that represented the polyglot nature of that far-flung empire. Mark Leong's funky Foo Dog camp made me very happy who along with Bill Seney's doomed Han Chinese and Marco's sinister and dark Samurai made for very colourful and dramatic tournament.

No real gripes but two. As I stated last post, I really wished we had more raw n00bs for the game. Our two more junior players really didn't count as such. Terry, while new-ish to DBA is an experienced gamer. Liam (the Pre-Teen Visigoth) has played several contests with me and is the co-author of "Pokemon and DBA is sort of the same thing". Maybe published next year. The other thing that annoyed me was having one of the FallCon brass sign up for the tourney and do a no show. Now, don't get me wrong, FallCon people are hard working and friendly sorts. But I see how much gaming they tend to get in over the weekend...very little! On account of the aforementioned hardworkingness. That slot however could have let another player in. As it was we had an uneven number and I had to jump in. Which is dandy, but distracting... I suppose if that's as much crank as I can summon up you can be pretty sure it was a fun time.

This may be the last time I use the 'kill the general with your general' style of scoring. At least without some modification and buffing. The points were too low and with not enough spread. I need to work out a way to balance the 'clever tactician' mode with the 'brave risktaker' mode without leaning too far one way or another.

Some meditations on various armies:

Early Samurai- still remain a favourite of mine. Despite being a fairly 'light' army in DBA parlance, Mark and Marco managed to parlay the Auxilia and Cavalry heavy force to some success. I played with 'Lord Saketumi' my Early Sams with a Bw general and collected a serious beatdown each time.

Chinese Southern Dynasty- really intrigues me. It's a classic Asian 'Zen'* army, with an elephant. But with enough balance of Bw and Bd you can present a reasonable unified front. The game Don played with Rob's Golden Horde was a intractable affair as Rob was very cautious about breaching Don's defended river position. I wish I had a top-down shot.

Mongol Conquest- it's the new black. I really look forward to getting to know mine, as I hurriedly painted it up for the con. Terry liked playing it. Joe's is gorgeous, an essay on how to do it. Every DBA gamer should have this army. Period.

Alans- yeah, Barker-sama's fave. Like the Mongols, it's also an excellent choice for you accountant minded cost-effectiveness sorts. 31+ unique opponents spanning over 1400 years. Cool. And it really doesn't suck on paper or on the field.

Post-Mongol Samurai- seem really under-represented in the scoring for this tourney. But a little examination bears more detail. Liam decided the best way to win was to charge his general headlong into fray and roll 6's. Not bad strategy given the scoring design of the tourney, but doomed without support from the slow Spear and Blade elements that make up the rest. Mike Johnson long ago offended the household gods of FallCon. What impropriety he committed to insult the lares so is unknown, but he has been unable to roll greater than a 3 at FallCon for years. He rolls much better and deadlier elsewhere.

Again thanks to all who contributed and participated!
'Yay our team!'

*Why Zen? Because it's 'one with everything'. Bad-um kish!

Update October 27: Encoded in the timeless prose of the NAGS/CCF format and presented here for you is the match-ups and scores for SNF II.

IV/73 Ming Chinese over II/41a Han Chinese 2G-1
IV/47 Golden Horde over IV/73 Ming Chinese 4-0
III/54 Early Samurai over III/54 Early Samurai 4-2G
IV/59 Post-Mongol Samurai over IV/35 Mongol Conquest 4-3(unclear..)
III/54 Early Samurai over IV/59b Post-Mongol Samurai 3G-2
IV/59 Post-Mongol Samurai over IV/59 Post-Mongol Samurai 4-0
III/54 Early Samurai over IV/35 Mongol Conquest 3-2
II/58 Alan over III/54 Early Samurai 4-0
III/54 Early Samurai
over IV/73 Ming Chinese 2G-1
II/58 Alan
over IV/59b Post-Mongol Samurai 4-1
IV/47 Golden Horde
over II/79b Southern Dynasty 3G-2G
IV/35 Mongol Conquest
over II/58 Alan 4-1
IV/35 Mongol Conquest
over II/41a Han Chinese 2G-0
II/79 Southern Dynasty
over IV/59 Post-Mongol Samurai 4-1
III/54 Early Samurai
over III/54 Early Samurai 4-1
III/54 Early Samurai
over IV/35 Mongol Conquest 4-2

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Samurai Night Fever II: The action!

Havoc, treachery, suicidal charges and victory.

Clan Toho (Post Mongol Samurai) as played by the Pre-Teen Visigoth contest the crossing of the Mongol Hordes (Conquest) as played by Terry Silverthorn.

In all, Samurai Night Fever II: The Wrath of the Khans was a ripping success. I had a blast running it. It's always a treat to play with such brilliant and convivial players and their beautiful and dramatic armies.

The tourney was organized loosey-goosey in a deliberate yet random way. Which I did deliberately. The Friday tourney at FallCon has always been a relaxed, warm-up sort of gig. The real blood gets shed on Saturday with the themed tourneys and Sunday with the Alberta Open. And given how un-acrimonious our serious tourneys are, the Friday games can be a little goofy.  

Now as to results..I lost those.....(don't worry Paul, I think I can reconstruct the results)

But I do remember the top 3:
1) Joe Crow/Mongol Conquest awarded the Shiny Red Katana of Awesomeness 
2) Mark Stadel/Alans*awarded the Bright Blue Katana of Bodaciousness
3) Don Ray/Southern Dynasty Chinese awarded the 'Best in Show' mostly for being able to work an elephant into this tourney...

The Wakazashi of Atonement went to Bill Seney and his Han Chinese, who uncharacteristically did not 
manage to score any points.

It was great to have Mark Wall and Terry Silverthorn from Edmonton come down for the game. They've just started a DBA group over the summer with other fine people up north.

If I had any grump or gripe, it would be that no complete newcomers were in the tourney. I love having new comers. First Samurai Night Fever in 2008 was won by a new player. Must think about how to get the word out better.

*(Yeah, that was the most western army I'd allow. Mostly cause Genghis Khan himself had a bodyguard of these guys.)

So, enough of that! Let's roll the pictures!

The turbulent river and the bows of Don Ray's Chinese stymie Rob Elliot's fearsome Mongols.  

Detail shot of Mike Johnson's Post Mongol Samurai in Takeda colours.

Another shot of Mike's PM Samurai from the rear. Sneaky ninja attempt to infiltrate the enclosure.

'Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!' Check out Mike J's taiko camp in the rear.

Crunch time! Seconds before the impact. Mark's Alans and Joe's Mongols come to the clinch.

Joe Crow's Mongols commence a flank run around their Alanic foe.

Mark Stadel's Alans charge the Early Samurai army captained by Mark Wall. There were three Marks in this game...yowza.

Bill Seney's Han Chinese take the fight to Joe's Mongols.

Mark Leong's Ming advance under the magical gaze of his Foo Dog camp.

Don Ray and Joe Crow array their respective forces.

The charge of Lord Saketumi's horse was valiant but doomed.

Lord Saketumi himself regards the failure of his cavalry with disdain.

Desperate circumstances call for desperate actions!
The Pre-Teen Visigoth arrays Clan Toho into his signature 'wedge of death' formation. 
Valiant for sure, but results varied.

'Hey Mark, over there...YOINK!'. Bill Seney (l) and Mike Johnson (c) look on unworried.

There's always got to be an elephant. Don Ray's Chinese southern Dynasty army shows it hues.

Thanks for looking! More pics to come.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Oh Snap!

So all those great pictures I promised are not going to happen soon.

Gravity and my camera had a death match and as always, gravity wins.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Like the wind from the steppes...

Samurai Night Fever II is but 2 weeks away (Oct 15th!) as is the other cavalcade of DBA action presented by the Calgary Camp Followers. (see the links section for both).

Myself, I've been painting. Much less than I'd really like to as work and family issues have sprung up like so many time draining hydra heads (what's that in old schooly D&D terms? a Chrono-Vampiric-o-Hydra?). Such is life. I've finished off painting my second Early Samurai army. I'll be basing and dull coating it tonight. Here's some teaser pictures.

So far so good. I envy my contemporaries like Neldoreth and Tim in Saskatoon who seem to be able to rattle off beautifully painted and based figures at a surprising rate. And if you haven't been to either of their sites, go to the links and check out their stuff (again, go to the links) which will make you wonder why you're reading my site.

Particularly, visit Neldoreth's site as he will be running 'Visigothic Romance' on Saturday. I'll be playing in that for sure. But in a surprising change of identity I'll be running my new Early Lombards which in another shockeroo is the first army I will play in a tourney that had not been painted by me. This time I out-sourced to the redoubtable (and slightly scary) Mike J. I hope this mob of Knights, Warband and Bow will kick those lousy Romans in the teeth. If not, it will be still be GLORIOUS. As a side note I will be lending my vicious Later Visigoths and ghastly Gepids as loaners for those who don't have period armies.

As to the Samurai Game, I have at least 3 loaner armies. But first come first serve, be quick about it.
I'll have two Early Samurai armies and a Mongol Conquest ready to go. The Pre-Teen Visigoth will be playing my Post-Mongol Samurai aka 'Clan Toho'.

Next up, some pics...

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

New Header!

This was made for me by the pre-Teen Visigoth.

It's pretty sweet. He was wanting something that was 'classical like a mosaic' but 'modern'. I like it!

Always fun geeking with the kid!

Monday, 23 August 2010

Samurai Night Fever II: The Rules

Wrath of the Khans Rules and outline.
Ok, here's the rules and outline of the tourney. For those of you who played in the first SNF you'll find them familiar. I've liberally stolen stuff from Paul Hannah's 'Skulls of Tamerlane'* tourney from last year and from the tweaks Neldoreth has done to the system.
"Thanks guys for your hard work!"

The Basics

1. All games are played on 2x2 boards with armies based on 40mm frontages (that is 15mm standard).

2. All armies must have the following keyword in their title; 'Japanese', 'Chinese', 'Korean' and 'Mongol'.
May be a legitimate, listed enemy of one of those armies.

Players are reminded this is an Asian themed tourney and as such should adhere to the spirit of the tourney and bring an Asian army. As this is an inclusive, easy going game, nobody will be turned away providing their army meets either criteria. 

Armies with options are NOT allowed to change between games. That would most certainly tone down the terror of rule 5, wouldn't it?

3. The moderator is Shogun of both Time and Space. Both he and those he appoints as loyal Rules-Samurai will have final say in rules questions. Kvetching is very dishonourable.

4. Rules used will be DBA 2.2 in all cases except as listed below.

5. All games will be played on pre-determined terrain. There will be 8 distinct maps, all representative of decisive or interesting battle of Asian history. These maps attempt to reflect a variety of terrain and climates.
Players will dice using their armies aggression ratings to determine defender/aggressor.

Players will choose the terrain assignment blindly and randomly before each match.  

6. Winners of each match are determined by the rules. Scoring for the tourney will be tracked in Bushido Points (BP's) and be scored as follows:

Killing the Enemy** General: 3BPs

Sacking Enemy Camp or BUA: 2BPs

Winning the match: 1BP

Enemy Element Killed by General:1BP***

All are cumulative.

7. Winner with the highest BP score will be awarded the +5 Katana of Mightiness

The player with lowest BPs gets the Wakizashi  of Atonement.

That covers most of it. I'm always interested in feedback and ideas to make this fun and outrageous tourney.

*In which my hapless Cilician Armenians were chewed up quite thoroughly.

**Do I really need to put 'enemy' in this list? Perhaps , yes I do.

***That is- in direct front edge to front edge contact. Not supporting, not overlapping or buttocksing.
I suppose shooting counts. If you are brave enough to enter with a Bw General, you deserve all the kudos you can get.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Wrath of the Khans

FallCon 2010 will see the return of Samurai Night Fever. Now with 300% more light horse!

This year 'Samurai Night Fever II: The Wrath of the Khans' expands the tournament to encompass all those wonderful horse armies of the plains. Previously, an army was eligible if it had 'japanese' or 'samurai' in the title or was a legit, listed enemy of one of these armies.

Lord Saketumi, Early Samurai Bow General

Now, the keywords are; 'japanese', 'samurai', 'mongol', 'korean', and 'chinese'. Armies that include those words in their names or are legitimate enemies of them. Books II, III and IV only. Sorry Shang Dynasty, but I had to make the call some place.

And let's try to keep things 'east of the Urals', ok? If you try to convince me to let you play Teutonic Knights or some other sort chainmailed euro-army I will use my Toshiro Mifune grade scowl on you , humiliating you in front of the cool DBA players who brought awesome Asian armies to the tourney.

fear the scowl.....

Sound good? I hate compiling lists.

The FallCon first Friday DBA tourney has the tradition of being easy-going, n00b friendly and a little odd. I'm pleased to continue this tradition. Rules will be posted later and will be pretty simple; kill the enemy general, sack the camp, rout the army. For those of you who are so inclined and require a textual basis for this, I will be posting more concise paragraphs at a later date.

So, get painting! If you need some resplendent inspiration, here's another video from Altan Urag, not just my favourite Mongolian Folk-Rock band, they've been stuck in my head and in my MP3 player.
This is a little more moody and less bloodthirsty than the last one I posted. While you listen go over to Neldoreth's site and read about his Mongol project:

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Dr. Hoo.

Love the BBC?
Love those wacky Saxons?
You can't get much better than this series.

A History of the World in 100 0bjects.

Episode image for Sutton Hoo Helmet

It's 15 minutes that will grow your brain. It also features Seamus Heaney on Beowulf. Heaney has done easily the best translation on the work. Shivery good stuff.

I've been in a more reading, less painting phase. So not much right now to show for my efforts. I have almost finished Piggott's work on Pre-Historic India. (whew..)

Pictures and other stuff related to Samurai Night Fever II: Wrath of the Khans will be next up.

Until then,


Thursday, 6 May 2010

Warrior Women!

Blog action has been pretty slow round these parts... And heres the reason:

Together with my partners Neldoreth and Pattus Magnus, we've launched our new miniatures company, Trey Corbies.

Our new site is at

As you may have surmised the new company encompasses a complete line of Scots-Irish warrior women in life-like and exceedingly portable 15mm.

Yeah, I know too much reading of the Tain before bed.

The whole story is on the Corbies site, so I won't relay it here. But suffice to say, we've created the first and most superb line of miniatures ever devoted to the warrior women of ancient Ireland. By far.



Thursday, 22 April 2010

Steppe Child

I'm painting Mongols.

You should be too.

The video is by Altan Urag
It's a new obsession of mine. These guys are the best.
The visuals are from Bodrov's Mongol from a few years back.
The Hippy watched the clip with me and said 'gaaack! holy blood shed Batman!' or something to that effect. We had watched the movie last fall and had fun with it and forgotten the sanguinous nature of the action until you view it distilled into a few minutes of galloping carnage.
Mongol pix next week!

Thursday, 1 April 2010

For Bob

Sure, this has nothing to do with April Fools Day...

For Bob in Edmonton (and everyone else who says nice stuff about my painting) some gratuitous pictures of Erin Gray from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.

Ahhh, the 80's


And while not Erin Gray, this picture sums up my primal ambitions from 1980.
I really sucked at Defender.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

The Zhao and Ch'u Show


"He's a plucky crossbowman from the south kingdom of Ch'u. And he's a fierce crossbowman from the northern kingdom of Zhao."

Together they fight the Ch'in.

Done the two uniform prototypes for the Warring States project. I will be doing both the Ch'u list (1x HCh (g) 1x HCh, 1x 3Cv (most likely) 2x 4Sp, 2x 3Wb (dare to die!) 4x 4Cb, 1x 2Ps)
and the Zhao/Chao list (1x HCh(g), 1x HCh, 2x 2Lh (the real reason to do this list), 4x 4Sp, 3x 3Cb, 1x 2Ps.
My enabler and partner in many crimes neldoreth will be doing the Qin/Ch'in and Yueh. It should be glorious.

Here's the Ch'u crossbowman. The scheme will revolve around a light blue and grey uniform with a bronze/brassy armour finish.

Here we see Mr. Zhao. Red and grey clothing with steely armour.

Both are easy paints and should look distinct on the table top.

Renegade Warring States Chinese figs come with either a top knot or a toque. I'm going to try to give all my Ch'u guys the toque and Zhao the top-knot. I really don't have much more to go on other than I think the top-knot looks spanky and the Osprey shows the Zhao guy with a top know. It further more elaborates that the Ch'u were frequently derided by being called 'monkeys with hats' which we must accept as 'fightin' words' from ancient China. So if you wondered if I had some historical back-up, yes I do.

On the whole I am pretty pleased. The skin tone bugged me the most. Obviously we don't want them looking like my Irish, but too exaggerated 'yellow' skin tones will make them look more like The Simpsons than warriors of China. I used Privateer P3 Idiran Flesh as a base. Then used Vallejo Medium Flesh, once over the base, then a second over a GW wash of Sepia (can't live without that stuff). I'd be very pleased to hear your feedback.

Another is the sculpting of the faces, which was brought up by the eloquent and uber-informed vonBerlichengen in the thread on Fanaticus.

The Ch'u guy really looks more like an Englishman than an Asian. Look at the nose! A conk that size belongs on Alfred the G.

On the other hand, this guy's very exaggerated 'Asian' features sort of give me a creepy 'Charley Chan' vibe. I've yet to meet anyone with eyebrows like that.

But consider some of the actual terracotta warriors, who have stylized facial features. We might wonder if Renegade was trying to model after that example instead of being rather being dippy.

I haven't met this guy either...

Another pic for those who like that sort of thing...rear view!

Those shoulder plates give them a GW Space Marine feel. (Not that I have EVER painted such a thing...cough...cough...) I like these figs. And should Renegade get their stuff moving and crank out a chariot I will be very happy.

In short I blame neldoreth and Tim in Saskatoon for enticing me and my already weak will into 28mm. I hope N gets his mojo back and gets painting and I can't wait to bring the completed Zhao/Ch'u force out to 'Toon town and devastate Mr Tim's fancy pants fantasy forces with a HoTT morph. (suggestion on that composition welcome as well)

Thanks for reading. Have fun and don't get in the way of the Hadron Super-Collider.


Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Technicolour Reconstructions

A quick post today.

I need to go make supper (curried chickpeas and pappadums!)
and don't have anything too fresh in the painting department.

I came across these colour restorations of Greek sculpture and again was impressed by the vivacity of the colours.

You can read about the exhibit and process here:

I contrast this with the discussion on Fanaticus regarding Skythian pants and other aspects:

My next hoplite force (probably LHG Thessalians) is going to be packed with bling.