Battle of the Five Armies

For big battle games, 10mm figures have always been my go-to scale so when Games Workshop launched their boxed game of Battle of the Five armies in 2005, it didn’t take me long to pick up a copy as it was stuffed full of 10mm plastic fantasy miniatures to play the iconic battle from The Hobbit.  Over the years I end up acquiring a further three copies (!) and over time they have been the basis of several Warmaster armies but I hadn’t played the actual battle itself for about 7 or 8 years.

A couple of friends had expressed an interest in the battle and in getting back in Warmaster after a long hiatus so I dug out the game and sent out player briefings ahead of the day.

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Frontline Gaming Tundra Mat

I was recently looking to expand my collection of gaming mats as I mainly have 3′ x 3′ and 4′ x 3′ but really wanted at least a few different designs of 6′ x 4′ mats for larger games.  Many of the popular brands of gaming mats come from the US or Europe and are expensive and slow to arrive when buying directly so I had a look round for a local manufacturer or distributor and came across Frontline Gaming in Queensland.

Quite a few of their designs were out of stock, but I picked out a 6′ x 4′ Tundra mat, priced at AU $120.00, with an extra $20.00 for shipping.  I placed the order late on a Tuesday night and it was delivered to me in Melbourne the next Tuesday.



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Four Against Darkness: Buried Secrets

Buried Secrets

Just released a couple of days ago (19th June 2018) from Ganesha Games is the first of their new series of supplements for Four Against Darkness (4AD), The Gathering of the Four.  This new series will follow a different format to the previous supplements – four adventures each designed for a single level 3 character which have a more traditional narrative solo gamebook approach (i.e. numbered paragraphs) followed by a finale where all four characters adventure together.

This first book in the series, Buried Secrets, follows the adventures of the female cleric Rubria.  A copy of the core Four Against Darkness rules are required to play the game and as well as the usual dice, you’ll also need a standard deck of playing cards.  I picked up the supplement as a PDF for a couple of pounds via Wargames Vault but it is also available directly from Ganesha.  It was written by Victor Jarmusz and edited by Andrea Sfiligoi, who also did many of the illustrations.

The book is 34 pages including the full colour front and back covers.  There are some Black and white drawings and cartography but most of the pages are taken up by the numbered paragraphs that make up the adventure.

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SAGA Anglo-Danes

I met up with a friend for a game of SAGA last weekend and we tried something a bit different by playing with each other’s armies.

It was a four point game with Paul using my Normans (Mounted Warlord, 8x Mounted Hearthguard, 8x Mounted Warriors, 12x Levy with Bows) while I had Anglo-Danes (Warlord with Dane Axe, 4x Hearthguard, 16x Warriors, 12x Levy Bows).  We played the standard scenario from the back of the latest rulebook (I really hope they hurry up with the Book of Battles supplement) with the added twists of some units starting with a point of fatigue and deployment across a diagonal.

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Little Wars Melbourne 2018

Little Wars is one of Melbourne’s premier tabletop wargames events, hosted annually on a Saturday at the end of May or Start of June – although it was on hiatus in 2017.  Last weekend I was fortunate to be able to visit the show for the third time but due to other commitments on the day, I could only manage to stay for an hour so it was a bit of a madcap visit where I tried to cram in catching up with friends, shopping and looking at some of the great games on display.

The Venue is Kingston City Hall in Moorabbin (not far outside the Melbourne CBD).  There is free parking under and in front of the venue and usually additional parking at the nearby train station and other locations within a short walk.  However, on the day of the show, there was a replacement bus service operating which meant that many spaces outside the venue and in the railway station were out of action, causing some disruption.  The venue itself is well lit and airy with plenty of space all on one level, although a stage area is up a few stairs.  Entry was by gold coin donation and there were plenty of friendly and helpful people to direct  you to the right place.  I didn’t use it this year, but there was a food truck outside and coffee available downstairs.

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SAGA Vikings vs Normans (6 Points)

It’s been a while since our first try of SAGA 2nd Edition, but at the club today Rohan and I went back for a second game, this time at the standard size of 6 points. As before, I took Normans and Rohan Vikings and we just played the basic “Clash of Warlords” scenario from the new rulebook.

I still haven’t got round to re-basing the large collection of Normans I bought last year so I’m a bit limited for options so I went with 24x levy bows, 8x warrior crossbows, 8x mounted warriors and 8x mounted hearthguard with a standard warlord. Vikings have very few options so Rohan chose 32x warriors, 4x berserkers and the legendary warlord, Ragnar Lothbrok who benefits from Resilience (2), grants Determined units within S at the start of the Activation phase and generates two SAGA dice instead of one.

I still haven’t got round to finishing off the bases for some of these figures – must try harder!

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Four Against Darkness: Cave of the Kobold Slave-Masters

Having completed my first game of Four Against Darkness, all four of my characters had survived (Warrior Level 1, Cleric Level 2, Wizard Level 2, Elf Level 2) and a modicum of loot acquired.  Rather than playing through another procedurally generated dungeon, I thought I would try my hand at one of the available narrative mini campaigns and so bought Cave of the Kobold Slave-Masters as a PDF from Wargame Vault for the princely sum of USD 2.00 (about GBP 1.48 / AUD 2.66).

The 21 page PDF is a three part mini campaign aimed at four level 1-2 characters so was ideal for my existing party, although there are also notes about modifying the scenarios to cater for a couple of level 3 characters.  I played the whole campaign in a single sitting of about four hours but I could just has easily split the game into three (or more) sessions.  You do get certain opportunities to rest, heal and resupply between each chapter.

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Star Wars Legion: Painting Speeder Bikes

Following on from my freshly painted stormtroopers, I moved to the two Imperial Speeder Bikes from the Star Wars Legion core boxed set.

I have to say that these were really a lot of fun to paint!  I loosely followed Sorastro’s excellent tutorial video but since I mainly use Foundry Paint System rather than Citadel paints, the method isn’t identical.

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