Ophidian Archway

I have only done a couple of posts on terrain but I thought I would make another exception – last night, I polished off the new Ophidian Archway for Age of Sigmar and quite liked the results.

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Normally with something like this, I would just undercoat it black, do a grey drybrush, pick out a couple of details and call it finished. However, following the trend I started with the starter set models, I avoided that and instead followed the painting guide a the recent White Dwarf.

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Started with a white undercoat this time, and followed it up with a (very) quick coat of white – I didn’t want to do the next stage, a blanket Sepia wash, straight onto the undercoat as the texture would have been all wrong. Once dry (the drying time is what made this piece take a bit longer than usual, but the actual painting time was not all that much greater than my traditional method – a valuable lesson right there), the whole thing got drybrushed Pallid Wych Flesh. Then the floor was painted Skavenblight grey.

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Following the instructions in White Dwarf, the whole thing was then given a light wash in Camoshade to suggest moss and lichen, something I would never have thought to do by myself, but it added a lot of definition to all the carvings on the walls.

The whole lot was then given a very light drybrush of white – again, something I might have skipped before, but it really brought out the highlights.

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Finally, I tackled the man-fighting-dragon brass bits on the front. That was simply a coat of Balthasar Gold (I made the mistake of trying to give it a dark wash – don’t, it wasted time going back over that mistake) finishing up with a heavy dab of the new Oxide paint GW do. First time I have ever used it, it is a bit weird going on, but it undoubtedly works.

And that was it – a lazy evening’s work with most of the time spent waiting for the washes to dry. I don’t think it looks too bad at all!

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Battle for the Realmgate – Part One

So, as I have been promising for a month or so now, the battle reports for the scenarios in the Age of Sigmar starter set!

 

The Story So Far

For those of you not up to speed with the Age of Sigmar, when the Warhammer World was destroyed, Sigmar created a bunch of realms (the Mortal Worlds) where everyone lived happily. After a few thousand years, some started grumbling (Dwarfs and Orcs started to have a barney, Nagash went his own way, Elves got selfish, etc). Sigmar tells them they are not all that, and locks himself away in his own little heaven. A bit later, he has a rethink and, as Chaos takes over each of the Mortal Realms, Sigmar creates an army of Stormcast Eternals. The starter set depicts the moment they are first unleashed (this is covered in the first novella as well).

A bunch of Stormcast Eternals are transported (by lightning) to the Realm of Aqshy where an awful lot of Khorne worshippers live. The Eternals need to clear a Realmgate of enemies, from which a whole bunch more Eternals can arrive, and then the relentless march to victory can continue.

The scenarios in the starter set re-enact the big battle that took place outside that Realmgate.

 

No Quarter

Lord-Celestant Vandus Hammerhand arrives on the battlefield on a bolt of lightning and while his men all start fighting, he finds himself going toe-to-toe with Vekh the Flayer (a Bloodstoker) and a whopping great big Khorgorath.

This is a very basic scenario designed to get you into the swing of things, so don’t expect a great deal of tactical manoeuvring. As it turned out, though, it was still a bit of a laugh.

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The two forces do not start very far apart and as the Chaos side goes first (they set up first), close combat happened very quickly. The Khorgorath shot its bone tentacles as it closed in, and gave Vandus a bit of a smack, resulting in two wounds. In return, Vandus walloped the Bloodstoker with his hammer, taking off two wounds. There were no Battleshock tests in this scenario, as all units had just one model a piece.

In his phase of the turn, Vandus’ Dracoth breathed on both enemies, but while the Khorgorath nimbly (?) dodged the attack, the Bloodstoker was reduced to one wound. The Dracoth then promptly ate him, while Vandus gave the Khorgorath a mild headache. The Khorgorath gets his revenge and leaves Vandus on just 4 wounds.

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At this point, it became a race to the zero wound level. Chaos got the first phase of the next turn, and the Khorgorath’s attacks left Vandus on just one wound, while its armour resisted all of Vandus’ attacks.

In his phase, the Dracoth’s breath weapon missed again, but Vandus smacked the Khorgorath silly with his hammer, doing 4 wounds.

In the third turn, with Vandus on just one wound and the Khorgorath not looking much better, it all came down to who snagged the first phase. As it happened, the Khorgorath was just a bit faster, and finished off Vandus with its bone tentacles. Not quite how it happened in the novel, but Vandus was now limping off, heavily wounded (don’t worry kids, he will be back!).

 

The Darkening Sky

Elsewhere, the flying Prosecutors had entered the battle, and were trying to reach the Realmgate in order to open it. A bunch of crazed Bloodreavers were trying to stop them.

This battle matched three Prosecutors against two units of 10 Bloodreavers. The Prosecutors could win by either wiping out the opposition or by having at least one model on the far side of the table in one of their Hero Phases (so, they had to move there the turn before…).

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The two units of Bloodreavers were separated on the battlefield and, grabbing the first phase, the Prosecutors tried to take advantage of this, flying over to one, throwing celestial hammers at them (achieved nothing) and then  charging. Three Bloodreavers went down immediately and the Prosecutors took a wound.

In their phase, the second unit of Bloodreavers ran as fast as they could in order to help out their mates (or stop them stealing all the fun).. One Prosecutor had his wings pulled off by the Bloodreavers already in battle, but five were cut down by the Eternals. The rest promptly fled with a very bad Battleshock roll.

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Chaos grabbed the first phase of the third turn, and charged, easily pulling the wings off another Prosecutor and wounding the last (they only start with 2 wounds each!).

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The Prosecutor got another two Bloodreavers in return but they held. As his phase was the last this turn, the Prosecutor decided to try something tricksey.

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He retreated and ran, heading for the table edge and banking on getting the first phase of the next turn (which would win him the game). This is what actually transpired, and the Prosecutor sighed in relief – with just one wound left, there was no guarantee he could have taken a charge from the remaining Bloodreavers…

 

Indomitable

The Eternals had almost reached the Realmgate but now had to hold it while it was activated. This job was left to the Lord-Relictor Ionus Cryptborn (of whom I have heard a rumour that he is actually Arkhan the Black – anyone know anything about this?) and three Retributors, three big, burly Eternals armed with massive hammers.

This battle took place as three waves, with the Chaos forces having three turns in each wave to cross the table and give the Eternals a smacking. Any losses for the Eternals would be carried over into the next wave while the Chaos forces would get replenished.

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The first turn for Chaos was predictable – they ran as fast as they could, the Bloodreavers using their horn to outpace the rather nastier Blood Warriors.

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In the first wave, the Bloodreavers managed to charge in, and got an absolute mincing from the Retributors hammers – those things cause two Mortal Wounds on a hit roll of 6, and 2 wounds on a normal strike. That first round of combat was just carnage. The Blood Warriors could not get in but, in their turn, the Retributors charged them and, though they took a wound, managed to finish the Blood Warriors off – however, the Eternals did get a new respect for the Blood Warriors’ No Respite rule, which basically means that if you kill them, they get all their attacks again, and their Gorefists, which can bounce back Mortal Wounds…

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In the second wave, the Lord-Relictor began by healing the wounded Retributor while the Chaos forces ran across the battlefield again. Gaining the intiiative, the Eternals charged the Bloodreavers in the second turn, where they once again did their mincing thing. However, this time, the Bloodreavers held (though 6 ran due to Battleshock) and the Retributors took 2 wounds. When the Blood Warriors charged in, a Retributor went down to their attacks, while the remaining Blood Reavers pulled down another. All of a sudden, the Eternals position looked precarious, and there was still another wave to go…

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The Lord-Relictor finished off the Blood Reavers and though the remaining Retributor finished off the Blood Warriors, he went down to their No Respite (told you it was nasty).

This meant, in the third wave, there would only be the Lord-Relictor facing an entire Chaos horde…

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The frothing Chaos masses obviously put the Lord-Relictor off, as he failed to heal himself. In the second turn, despite careful manoeuvring, the Blood Warriors failed to get into battle, which suited the Lord-Relictor just fine – he much preferred to face Bloodreavers and there were enough of them that he could be completely surrounded and therefore the Blood Warriors would be unable to reach him! All he needed to do was survive…

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Unfortunately, this was when the Lord-Relictor started getting very handy with his hammer and Bloodreavers started falling in droves, an average of three every combat phase. He did, however, manage to heal himself.

In the third and final turn, enough Bloodreavers had gone down that there was a clear path between the Blood Warriors and the Lord-Relictor. He sent a lightning bolt their way, nailing one, but they were then able to charge.

In the final scrum, the Lord-Relictor was reduced to just two wounds, but managed to outlast the Chaos force. They duly retreated to fight another day.

 

More Battles!

We are going to get the rest of the battles done over the next few days, and the forces involved will be getting steadily larger as the Realmgate is opened. The next fight sees a fairly big horde of Chaos fighting against a meatier Eternals force – but due to the last battle, the Eternals will be missing their Retributors which is a shame as those big hammers are nice!

 

Verdict Thus Far

These are just simple scenarios designed to teach you the rules, and there is way more to this game than what is included in the starter set. However, the verdict thus far… We are having fun, which is really what you are looking for in a game. The turns are flowing very quickly and, notably, there were no rules disputes/arguments/weird interpretations worth speaking of which, considering these are among our first games with Age of Sigmar, is worth mentioning.

The elephant in the room is, of course, the lack of army balancing/points system but, taken on the face of these scenarios alone, the game remains worthy of a look. We will explore further…

 

Leading the Stormcast

While working on the Goretide, I also popped in the new command models GW has been releasing for the Stormcast Eternals – really easy models to do, despite all the scroll and gold work, perhaps 2-3 hours not including drying time (I also did another Liberator, not pictured here, the one that was free on the front of White Dwarf).

First up, a new leader, if you do not want to totally cheese out with a guy on a Dracoth.

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This is a Lord-Castellant and he remains fairly mean with lots of attacks from his hammer and Runesword. Those hammers on the ends of his cloak do actually fly off and clobber people in the face (D6 of them a turn, doing Mortal Wounds on a 4+, can be a nasty surprise).

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I think I prefer these two though. The Lord-Celestant has a big halberd but his lantern goes around scaring Chaos people and making Stormcasts that much harder to kill.

It is the Gryph-Hound that I am particularly pleased with though. A better painter could have done a much better job, but I copied the painting guide in the recent White Dwarf, and are quite happy with him!

Late last night, I also put together two squads of Liberators from the new box set. They went together very well and should be painting them up this coming weekend. I went for one squad with two hammers apiece, and the other with two warblades, both squads containing a dude with a two-handed weapon. Should round out my Stormcasts nicely. Following the Goretide, I also put together a unit of Bloodletters (not sure why I do this to myself), hoping to do them this weekend too…

Age of Sigmar: The Goretide

During one of our painting days this weekend, I finished off the Goretide, the Chaos force in the Age of Sigmar box set. And, I have to say, they were a pain in the rear end to do!

You see, I had decided that, instead of my usual Magic Goop method of painting, I would do GW’s recommended base, wash, repaint, layer, highlight method, just as I had on the Stormcast Eternals (where it worked out quite well and did not take much longer to do). On this force, with this many models (yeah, i did them all at once, possibly a mistake) with this many variations and details, it was something of a chore.

Didn’t help that I had picked up the Age of Simgar Painting Guide, so I was really doing everything on these models.

Then again, I have to say, the results were good (for my style of painting anyway). The ratio between time/effort vs. results may not balance too well, but they did end up better than the Goop method. I am just not too keen on doing any more Bloodreavers, if you get my drift…

Anyway, on to the models…

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This chap is the leader of the Goretide, a might Chaos Lord with his pet doggie (Fleshhound).

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He gets backed up by the Bloodsecrator, who is more than just a standard bearer. Apparently, he plants that thing in the ground and a mini Realm of Chaos appears. Should be interesting.

Didn’t think I would have the patience to do all that gold lining on the standard, much less separate the gold and bone on its rim, but I am glad I did.

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These two are the heavy hitters, a Khorgorath prodded into battle by a Bloodstoker.

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And if you need more heavy, they also add the Blood Warriors to the force. These guys were probably the easiest to paint (only the gold lining takes any length of time), so I might be happy to add more of these.

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And finally the Bloodreavers. None of these were particularly arduous by themselves, but all together, all twenty of them… yeesh. As these are the ‘basic’ troops of this force, I cannot see the Goretide growing particularly large…

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And the whole force together!

 

More Chaos

I think I prefer the Stormcast Eternals as a force but now I have this little Chaos band, I am thinking I may as well add  few things to it. We’ll have to see what GW release for them over the coming months, but I am guessing the Blood Warriors will get their own set, and we have seen a Chaos Altar-thing in the hardback. However, there is a box of Bloodletters sitting on the shelf, eyeing me up, and a unit of them might have to be done (can’t imagine they will be much of a pain to paint up).

 

More Stormcast Eternals

I also ‘popped in’ the new Stormcast Eternal leader models that GW have released over the past couple of weeks – I’ll get some snaps of them done tomorrow, but I am quite enamoured with the Gryph-Hound! I also put together two sets of Liberators from the new box set, they should be getting a lick of paint this coming weekend.

 

Battle Reports

Now I have both the Stormcast and Chaos forces done from the box set, it will be time to get down and play some games. I’ll see if I can do battle reports of the all the scenarios in the book sometime soon.

 

And This Just In

The FLGS has announced the releases coming for Age of Sigmar over the next couple of weeks. By now, you will all have probably heard about the bow-firing Judicators for the Stormcasts (will be grabbing a couple of boxes of those). However, next week, there are two new terrain pieces coming (Numinous Occulum and Dragonfate Dais), and the Stormcast Paladins (the really heavy guys with two-handed hammers, swords and glaives, I think).

Maybe more interesting is that they are re-releasing the Sylvaneth in the Age of Sigmar style (so, new box, round bases, and a Warscroll), a Treeman Ancient and the Dryads. There will also be a big Sylvaneth Warhost containing three Treemen, 32 Dryads and a Finecast Branchwraith, all for £135. Which, considering the three Treemen, does not seem amazingly bad.

Anyway, it has occurred to me to pick that set up, as it would fit in well with the scenarios of the hardback and the Warhost probably contains everything you are likely to need for the Sylvaneth in the near future. Except for the Woods. Ack.

And does this mean I should also be giving serious thought to doing Nurgle forces? That way lies madness…

 

 

The Enemy Within – Shadows Over Bogenhafen Part Two

When we last looked at this campaign, the players were about to enter the sewers of Bogenhafen…

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The players and characters were;

Ed – Thorgrim – Dwarf Scholar
Amy – Llewellyn – Wood Elf Warrior
Andy – Thorn – Wood Elf Scholar (wizard’s apprentice)
James – Deem – Dwarf Warrior
Alan – Yvette – Human Ranger

The town guard took the players to a manhole cover in one of the streets, and gave them a weird looking ladder-contraption. The smell as they opened the manhole cover was… powerful, and James’ new friend (Gottri, the drunk dwarf) decided he was needed elsewhere. Amy, being the most limber, clambered down and fixed the ladder to the shaft so they could all get down. Andy promptly lit a torch, amidst grumbling from the dwarfs about not being able to see in the dark, and the party started hunting around for clues.

They quickly back-tracked the three-legged goblin’s path and found the grating by which it had gained access to the sewers. From here, they were able to follow its trail (it had cut itself getting free), with no more trouble other than having to cross the sewer from one walkway to another now and again.

Amy had noticed the odd rat swimming in the drink now and again, and was alerted when one disappeared, as if it had been dragged down from beneath. As she was contemplating this, a huge, well, tentacled amoeba is really the only way to describe it, reared from the sewer completely enveloped her. This caused some panic, as not everyone could get to her, piled up as they were on the narrow walkway, but eventually a few sword blows from Alan and axes from James got her free with no more than a few light acid burns.

The party headed deeper into the sewers, getting near the centre of the town. At this point, Ed called their attention to a new stench, one he recognised from his mining days – methane. He duly advised everyone that methane pockets did not react well to naked flame – such as the torches they were carrying.

At this point, Andy announced he was lighting another torch. While the rest of the party started shouting at him to put it out, Alan looked at me with a tired expression and said ‘I know exactly what he is going to do…’

Torch lit, Andy said he was throwing it, hoping to clear the methane pocket ahead of them – James, Amy and Ed immediately shouted at him to stop and barred his throw.

There was a 10% chance every round that any naked flame would ignite the methane. It came up straight away.

Boom.

Most of the players got away with just a light singing (Andy included). Alan, however, was blasted clear off the walkway and landed in the muck. When he surfaced, he found he had been all but blinded by the explosion.

Amidst protests from Andy that his plan would have worked if everyone else had not tried to stop him, they continued following the goblin’s trail…

Finally, they made it to a door, where the trail ended – a  little bit odd, they thought, a door in the middle of a sewer. They peered through its grating and say some sort of pentagram inside. James used his usual key to get inside (his axe), and they started exploring.

Poking about, Andy found a pile of bones near the door, including a pelvis with three leg sockets. As they considered this, a dark mist started to appear within the pentagram, and out popped a guardian daemon.

It did not want to fight the party, and tried to reason with them, explaining that the three-legged fellow would not listen and look what happened to him. Not having an effect, the daemon then tried threatening them, telling them all the nasty things it could do. At this point, feeling very safe with the daemon trapped within the pentagram, Andy promptly pointed at it… and laughed.

It was at this point that the daemon reached across the pentagram and whacked Andy for a fairly serious amount of damage. He wasn’t laughing after that.

A fight broke out. At first, the players were worried about whether they could actually hurt a daemon with normal weapons, but a couple of early hits from Amy proved it could at least bleed. Unfortunately, the daemon (still honked off at being laughed at) focussed on her, and she quickly hit the deck, unconscious and minus a Fate Point. Alan dived in and grabbed her prone form, pulling it out of the secret temple and into the sewers – where he found Andy, who had already retreated, deciding that facing a daemon was not a great career move.

This left James and Ed to face the daemon alone. James finally buried his axe in the daemon, forcing it to vanish from this reality and Ed… helped (as an academic dwarf, he was never going to be great in a fight).

When it all went quiet, those still on their feet poked around it a bit and picked the three-legged pelvis, thinking it would be suitable evidence of the fate of the goblin. Meanwhile, Andy stole the black candles that were part of the pentagram.

Feeling relatively successful (Amy hurt a lot) they retraced their steps and returned to the surface world…

Fly the Friendly Skies

At the Attack show in Devizes this weekend, we picked up some 1/600 scale jet aircraft, the idea being to play through some Cold War-era dogfights.

The problem I immediately hit was what rule system to use.

You see, I am something of a prop head and while I have tried out many, many different game systems, from Wings of War and X-wing, through Check Your 6 and Air War C21, up to the old GDW Air Superiority, none of them have really got it right. And it seems there are some common traps they fall into.

Dogfighting Games Should be Fast: At the high end, these games try to model everything (Air Superiority comes to mind here) and transition from being games to becoming simulations. The trouble is a) computers have been able to do this better for decades and b) you should not be spending five minutes plotting the movement of one aircraft in a dogfight.

Dogfighting Games Should be About Split-Second Decisions: The Wings of War and X-Wing games get the actual game element right – but they also use pre-planned movement, which is an absolute no-no in a dogfight. No pilot goes into a dogfight thinking ‘I will use manoeuvre A, B and then D – that will get ‘im!’ Seat of the pants is the term to bear in mind here.

Dogfighting Games Should Reflect Real-World Physics: Okay, this is where the casual gamer may start to fall asleep, but many of the current crop of games fundamentally get how planes ‘out turn’ one another wrong. They look at the F-16 (say) and a MiG-21 and decide ‘well, I know an F-16 is more agile, so it can turn better.’ Which is sort of right but the mechanics are dead wrong. What I am saying here is that a game (rather than a simulation) should model the effects of real-world physics but not burden the player with them.

So, I was wondering how to do this. In a quiet moment at the show, I grabbed a notebook and started jotting down some ideas.

My credentials here? I am no physicist (though I am currently studying physics for a degree), but I spent a childhood pouring over books about aircraft, my teenage years racking up thousands of hours on computer simulators (everything from instrument-only 737 simulators, through all the F-16 and Tornado versions, and on to the space combat simulators such as X-Wing and Wing Commander – okay, the last two may not be quite so useful), and as an adult actually flying the things, both manned and unmanned (and scratch building the latter).

There are way more knowledgeable people out there, but I know at least a couple of my onions.

I started by thinking what I wanted to model: Jet dogfights from the 50’s to the present day, concentrating on the actual dogfighting and short range missile fire (BFM, as it is called), rather than long-ranged missile duels – though I did also have an idea that, with 1/600 scale models, a ‘fighter controller’ game could be pretty funky, but that is an idea for another day.

This meant we could cross out supersonic speeds straight away – planes may arrive at supersonic speed (and disappear the same way), which we could handle as an exception but, as far as the core rules are concerned, I don’t believe a dogfight has ever happened at supersonic speeds. And there are good reasons why, which brings us on to…

Turning, and the idea of one aircraft being more agile than another. Now, there are all sorts of factors governing a plane’s ability to turn (and out-turn other aircraft), from speed, wing-loading, aerodynamic drag, thrust-to-weight ratios, and all of these change altitude, G-loadings, what the plane has hanging under its wings, and a hundred other things. But we don’t want the player bombarded by a hundred things, so we need to abstract out but in a manner that makes sense.

Here is the thing that many people (including some games designers!) miss, but is obvious when you think about it and what is actually happening at a physical level.

All else being equal (!), two aircraft flying at the same speed and turning pulling the same ‘G’ will turn at the same rate. You could be in a Hawk, an Eagle, or a Hercules, you will turn at the same rate.

There are, obviously, certain things that break this deadlock. Some aircraft can simply pull higher G’s and thus turn in a tighter radius. A ‘clean’ F-16 can pull a 9-G turn, that C-130 cannot – the F-16 thus has a big edge. But what about a fighter versus a fighter?

Speed (and for those of you scoffing at the moment, I am about to change terminology) and how it is lost during a turn is the over-riding factor here. When an aircraft turns, it loses speed (actually, so does a car, but I digress). The tighter the turn, the more speed is lost. The more powerful an aircraft’s engines, the better it can counter this loss. This is why a big, great heffalump like an F-15 is a good dogfighter – it has the raw power to throw itself around the sky with abandon.

I was wondering how to best model this in a simple way, when it dawned on me. Simply give every aircraft an Energy score.

Dogfighting is ultimately about energy – storing it, retaining it, and having more of it than your opponent. What is energy (now that question reminds me of my degree study!)? In this context, it is speed, certainly. It is the thrust the aircraft’s engine has. And it is altitude.

Which brought me to another bugbear of mine in these games – I hate tracking altitude. There is no good telescopic stand for aircraft at this scale, and jotting your ‘Altitude score’ down is boring book-keeping in a game that should have none. It also makes no sense when you look at two planes on the table and have to say ‘well, that one is actually 10,000 feet above the other.’

Bleagh.

However, I thought, if we assumed that what was happening on the table was a defined ‘altitude engagement envelope’ (basically a few thousand feet up and down), we  could ignore altitude tracking altogether if we decided that Altitude = Energy.

So, if you are tracking Energy then, in a sense, you are already tracking altitude.

Simples!

So, what I was left with was that aircraft would all move within a tight range of distance (I am thinking 6-8″ at the moment), but what is being tracked is Energy – and I had already decided that the range of Energy being tracked should be doable on a single six-sided dice that could be just left next to each aircraft, just about eliminating all book-keeping (as I had also decided that, in terms of damaged, an aircraft would either be perfectly fine, limping, or destroyed – only one of those needs any sort of tracking).

Energy would be gained by an aircraft’s Thrust and certain gravity-based manoeuvres.

Energy would be lost by turning, losing more Energy as you turn more in a move, modified by an aircraft’s ‘efficiency’ which represents wing-loading, aerodynamics, and other factors. Many manoeuvres would also cost Energy.

I ran through a few mock turns of the game, with Biggles in his Thrust 3 aircraft, making a series of turns. If he kept things gentle, he could zip around the sky as he saw fit. As he started stacking up turns, his Energy started to fall through the floor, way beyond what his engine could counter, until he was flying low, slow and out of ideas – exactly what I was looking to model.

There needs to be a lot more work than this, of course – a plane needs to do more than turn, we need to factor in the high speed yo-yos, snap turns, square corners and all the rest. And I haven’t even got on to missiles yet (you can bet Energy is going to be a big factor there!). Pilot ability is also going to be paramount, and I have some ideas about spotting rules that Aces will be much better at – you need to be able to see an enemy before you can attack him, after all.

Anyway, I have some big projects to clear off my desk right now, but I think this game (working title either Combat Air Patrol or Air Dominance) will be getting some attention quite soon…

Stormcast Eternals

This weekend, amidst the Attack show at Devizes, I managed to finish off the Stormcast Eternals from the Age of Sigmar starter set.

I did something a little different with these guys. Instead of using the by-now-usual Magic Goop method, I grabbed a recent White Dwarf and followed the step-by-step instructions they had published for the Hallowed Knights (I wanted to do something different from the gold Stormcasts that are in all the GW books). Not sure why, but it seemed a good idea at the time. This entailed going to the GW site and ordering a whole bunch of new paints.

Were the results worth it? Well, you can be the judge of that. I remain the world’s laziest painter, but I don’t think the models are too bad at all. I will say that, despite by initial annoyance at GW changing their entire paint range (and pigments, so there is no exact replacement for Bestial Brown, for example), these new paints are very, very, very good. They may even be worth the price. They dry very quickly, have every shade you could possibly want (for example, you do not just get a black wash, there are now two different black washes, one heavy, one light – both got used on these Stormcasts), and the base paints will go straight onto a black undercoat with no loss of brightness. GW certainly did their homework here.

Anyway, onto the models!

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This is the leader, the Lord Celestant Vandus Hammerhand, the Marneus Calgar of the Stormcast Eternals. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the Dracoth was a bit of a bitch to put together (your mileage may vary, but I was all fingers and thumbs with this model), but the end result was worth it, I think. The model certainly has ‘presence’on the table.

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He gets accompanied by this guy, the Lord-Relictor. I had thought these two models would really slow up the painting of the Stormcasts (I did them all in one batch) but in the end, it was not too bad. The scrollwork is a little less browny than in GW’s pictures, but I think it works with the straight silver of the armour.

Incidentally, the White Dwarf guide says you should use the gun metal colour for the base on the the armour, but I am 90% sure they actually mean Runefang Steel, which is what I used. It is a lot lighter.

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The Retributors are the heavy guys of the group and while they are somewhat more ornate than the basic troops, they did not really take any longer to paint (no shield, and there are only three of them).

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The Prosecutors really push the ‘angel’ angle of the Stormcast Eternals. I had started to do the wings with black shading between the vanes but in the end just went over the whole surface with white – I don’t have the patience or the talent to pull that shading off. However, I think it works well enough, given that the wings in the paintings of these guys really are shining white.

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Finally, the Liberators, the ‘normal’ foot troops of the Stormcast Eternals.

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There are two squads of these. The squad members are fairly uniform and I got through them quite quickly. The leaders, on the other hand, have just the right amount of detail to stand out while not being a drag to do (important for lazy painters when it comes to block units!).

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And finally, the whole force all together. I think they fit in rather well with one another, and I have already picked up a box of the new Liberators that give you various weapon options – not sure which of those options I want to do. As normal, I want all of them!

However, the next job is doing the Chaos force, which I am hoping to complete this coming weekend-ish. After that, I’ll get some battle reports sorted for the missions in the starter set and then we will really see what is what!