Slogging away

27 06 2009

It has been very hectic around here lately. I have had reports to write, health issues, finishing up Song of Fur and Buttons, the sale of Nuthin’ But Net to Impact Miniatures and a million and one things on my project list, but I am now on holidays. So I can use this time to relax and recuperate… and get more done on my projects. 🙂

Battlelore Project

Realising that I can use the goblins I bought for the newly released Song of Splintered Lands as well as HOTT, I eagerly dove into painting some more. Here is the result. I was a bit rusty after a long painting break, but I’m happy with how they came out.

Goblin Green Infantry

Click to enlarge the photo

I also painted up one of the sample Dwarfs that Splintered Light Miniatures sent me with my Goblin order. They are fantastic sculpts and this was a joy to paint. I still need to highlight the tunic more, but wanted to upload the photo with this post.

Dwarven Blue Infantry

Rebasing my 10mm stuff for Mass Battle

Now I know alot of people (most that I’ve seen actually) prefer to mount their 10mm figures on 40x20mm bases, all bunched up. I had based all mine that way because it was easier (as the figures came in strips) and that’s how everyone else did it.

But as I was looking at mine the other day, I thought to myself that I didn’t really like that method of basing and I wanted a less crowded base. So I tried it, clipping some 10mm strips apart and rebasing on a 60x40mm base (yes this is huge for 10mm, but I love the effect).

This is how it went.

New 10mm Basing

I simply LOVE the way it ened up and as a consequence, will be basing all my 10mm using this method. For some models, this simply doesn’t work (for example WM Night Goblins) as they are cast too close together, but there are a plethora of minis that are cast seperately or on strips but far enough apart to be separated. Let me know what you think. 🙂

– Ben.

Multipurpose Basing Done the Right Way!

10 04 2009

Time to pop in for another blog update I thought to myself this morning. 🙂

I had been looking at the new Splintered Light Druid’s Children minis recently and thinking – man I really want these guys. They conjure up images of Redwall and Mouse Guard, but I was even more excited when I heard about a supplement being written for Song of Blades and Heroes specifically for these models – awesome!

I also thought how cool would they be in Mighty Armies, HOTT or Fantasy Rules! This brought me back to multi purpose basing again. My last attempt at it was ok, but too time consuming. I also found that the putty I used began to flake with the constant removing and replacing of models. They weren’t practical for longevity.

So I went down to the local Mitre 10 and asked around. After about a total of 6 minutes, I was walking out with some holesaws of various sizes. Now these weren’t the cheapest things I’ve ever bought, but well worth it if you’re going to be doing a lot of multibase stuff. A 20mm was perfect for the washers I use for basing my 15mm stuff. The 25mm one will be perfect for both basing 28mm models and 15mm cavalry. I intend to get a 40mm one for monsters as well – the system works that well that I intend to make bases for my 28mm stuff too. 🙂


Next, I grabbed a base and marked out some circles using spare washers that I use for basing 15mm. You could put as many as you want on – being sure to leave some space between so you don’t split the wood. I have tried this on 80mmx40mm bases and 80mmx80mm bases.

The demonstration is on 80mmx80mm bases simply because I liked how this one came out 🙂


Next, I attached the drill bit and used a work station to drill the holes halfway through the wood. Then I flipped and drilled through the rest. Its easy to keep your place because the bit shown above actually screws onto an actual drill bit, so you have the small hole in the middle to guide you. I did it this way after several bases came out with quite a bit of splintering around the edge. Doing it this way helps to stop this.

After some quick sanding (all of 5 seconds on each hole), I spread some PVA glue on the underside (not too much) and place it on top of another undrilled base. I made sure that the grains went in opposite directions to avoid warping. Then I just chucked some cheap hand clamps on each edge and left it for 30 mins. I had a set of 8 clamps, so I have two bases going at once and I just did some over the course of the day.


After half an hour, I just take the clamps off and use a stanley knife to trim the excess glue from around the edge of the base. The extra glue in the base holes can be removed with a toothpick or other small implement and will take all of 20 seconds for the whole base.

The next step was to paint them black and the flock them. It sounds like a long process, but in reality its quite quick. You just set a few up and come back to them later in the day. I have been able to whip up quite a number in very short time. The great thing is that you can drill the holes wherever you want to provide an interesting display for your models rather than packing them in on a base. I prefer this new method, but I know your milage may vary. If you do try this, please let me know how it goes – I’d love to see how your bases come out!

Remember, you can click on any of the images to view them at a larger size! 🙂

– Ben.



10mm Lizardmen

9 03 2009

10mm Lizardmen Photos

Just a quick post to upload some photos of my 10mm Lizardmen I’ve been painting. They can be used for Warmaster, or with the help of my magnetic basing trays that I made, can be used for Mighty Armies or HOTT. Versatility is always good! 🙂

Song of Fur and Buttons

The final playtest copy has been finished. It is 12 scenarios following the exploits of three adventurous bears – Sir Maurice Fursworth, Sir William Cuddlesbury and Sir Uppity Paws. It has been a great deal of fun to write and I look forward to releasing it with Andrea in the future. More news as it comes to hand 🙂


Nuthin But Net

Three teams are in playtest – Plantmen, Skeletons and Kobolds.

If you are interested in helping playtest any of these teams, feel free to leave a comment on this thread. I would need a minimum of 5 games with the team you want to playtest. Those 5 games should be against different teams to ensure a good spread.

The teams will be in the next supplement, along with a play sheet to keep track of your players achievements and a few other ideas to use in your games.

Ahhhh… Holidays at Last!

22 12 2008

First of all, let me apologise for the lack of updates lately. If any of you guys are teachers out there, you can atest to the craziness that is the last few weeks of school. I’ve had to move classrooms and will be teaching grade 5s instead of 2s next year… so there has been a lot to do. 🙂

Well, anyway, here I find myself at the end of another long, but rewarding year. It was sad to have to say goodbye to my grade two-ers as they were a great bunch of kids. But it now means I have plenty of time to concentrate on my projects.

I have been writing like a madman lately and so haven’t got much stuff painted, but it now means that Twilight (Dusk Now) is now very close to being opened up to playtesters. I just need to finish off a scenario or two and clarify some points and then the call will go out. 🙂 *Cue Kermit the Frog like ‘Yaaaaay!’ with flailing arms*

I have finalised the design for the Song of Blades and Heroes cards, but the release will be put back a bit while I sort some stuff out. It does look like I will be able to get physical cards though which is great news! Here is the final design below.


I have also been working on another project more recently that I’m very excited about. I’m having an absolute blast writing it and hopefully I’ll be able to tell you all more about it soonish.

I have painted a few miniatures, notably some stands of 10mm Night Goblins and two Teddies. One Colonial Teddy Bear – Sir Maurice Fursworth and a native Teddy Bear that looks a lot like a Koala (note the gum leaf shield). I just love these guys. Almost as much as the Frogs… they just have sooo much character. They are made by Eureka Miniatures.

After some discussion the other day, I’ve decided to paint some of the Married Zulu Teddies (natives) as Koalas, with their feather headdresses a Sulphur Yellow colour (like a Cockatoo) – trying to make them distinctly Australian.

Here are some photos of my most recently painted miniatures.




I have also began making a 3 foot square terrain board to play Song of Blades and Heroes on. I know I already have the 2’x3′ one, but because the terrain is fixed, it’s become a bit stock standard to play on. The 3′ square one will feature movable terrain pieces. This way the battlefield is always fresh, and I can use it for SoBH or Twilight, which will cut down on my storage space alot… now to try and offload some of my other boards.


My demo board for Nuthin’ But Net is almost complete, which is great. Then I can get started on converting some minis for a Kermitian team. 🙂

I think I’m really going to enjoy these holidays! 😀

Merry Christmas to everyone and their families!

– Ben.

Mid-November Update

17 11 2008

I’ve been sitting in front of my computer doing reports all morning, and I need a break. My eyes hurt because my cold spread to my eyes (giving my conjunctivitis! – Yay!) and I’m tired. Sure lots of people have it worse, and thousands of teachers are writing reports at the moment, so I don’t really have cause to complain. 😛

But it does give me an excuse to update my blog. It’s funny, whenever reports come around, I always seem to get a lot done miniatures wise. Perhaps I work faster, better, stronger… or perhaps I just delay the inevitable dreary-ness of writing reports by sneaking into my games room and painting. 🙂

So what have I been up to? Well, quite a bit actually. I’ve been writing scenarios and tweaking rules for my new game ‘Dusk’ and it’s coming along pretty well actually. I’m really getting excited about it now. I’ve been playing Rock Band 2 (imported from US – wow that was a hassle!) and loving it!

But enough chit-chat. You probably don’t come here to listen to me rattle on. So this is what I’ve done. I’ve got some stats for using Turtles and Terrapins in Song of Blades and Heroes. You can find them in the SoBH page on this site, or just check them out below! 🙂

Song of Blades and Heroes

The Turtle Terrapin army is built with the philosophy of Slow but Steady wins the race. They will activate fairly easily, but are hampered by their either Slow or Short Move specials. The leader was inspired by the greatest TMNT – Leonardo (aka the Fearless and Leader specials) I hope you find them enjoyable to use.
I recommend the Eureka line of Turtles/Terrapins for these guys with the Reaper Tortoise monster model for the Giant Monster Turtle.


Turtle Rifleman
Points 28 Quality 3+ Combat 2
Special Rules Heavy Armor, Shooter: Medium, Slow
Terrapin Spearman
Points 26 Quality 3+ Combat 2
Special Rules Amphibious, Gregarious, Short Move
Turtle Bowman
Points 28 Quality 3+ Combat 2
Special Rules Heavy Armor, Shooter: Short, Short Move
Turtle/Terrapin Sniper Team
Points 44 Quality 3+ Combat 3
Special Rules Heavy Armor, Sharpshooter, Slow, Stealth
Turtle Standard Bearer
Points 36 Quality 3+ Combat 2
Special Rules Fearless, Heavy Armor, Standard Bearer
Turtle War Drummer – Personality
Points 50 Quality 3+ Combat 2
Special Rules Heavy Armor, Slow, Terror
Turtle Commander – Personality
Points 76 Quality 3+ Combat 3
Special Rules Fearless, Heavy Armor, Leader
Giant Monster Turtle – Personality
Points 65 Quality 4+ Combat 4
Special Rules Greedy, Group Fighter, Heavy Armor, Huge, Short Move, Tough

I plan to go back to the Song of Blades and Heroes page and update the listing for the Frogfolk, to bring it in line with the Turtles/Terrapins and Sock Puppets, but that might not be until next week.

Mighty Armies

I’ve been painting up lots for Mighty Armies this week including some Rangers of Gondor, Lurtz and some Orcs – all in 10mm. You can find these on my Might Armies page. 🙂

I also have been working on stats to play a War of the Worlds style matchup using the Might Armies rules which are under playtest at the moment (the Ancient ones are now out and are awesome). Here are the models I have painted for this project so far. It is in 6mm. The Tripods are all GZG bought from Eureka, and the Infantry/General/Artilery is Irregular bought from Eureka.


I plan on updating the Mighty Armies page soon to separate armies onto different pages to make them easier to browse. But this might not happen for a few weeks.

Avatars of War

I have also been painting some more Skinks for my Avatar of War warbands. Here is the newest addition:


I realise the highlights are too harsh on the animal skull on his waist and on some of the teeth of the blade, but overall I’m really happy with him.

Oh well, back to reports! As always, comments, suggestions and feedback always welcome! 🙂

– Ben.

The Element of Choice – Fantasy Mass Combat

9 11 2008

The Element of Choice

An article on choosing the right mass combat game for you.


This is an article to hopefully point out the differences between some of the more popular mass combat fantasy games going around at the moment, and how I decided which one was for me.

So first of all, I’m going to give a brief rundown of each of the games from this category that I’ve tried in the past, then I’ll go into which sees the most play and why. Bear in mind I still play 3 of the 4 games listed here (and wished I could play the 4th more often) so I consider all of the games excellent in their own right.

These are not exhaustive reviews of the games (as these can be found in many other places on the web) but are just snippets of information that is important for me when deciding on which game to play.

Hordes of the Things 2nd Edition

Hordes of the Things is an element based game (which means a number of miniatures on the one stand), played primarily on a 2’ square table and can be completed in under an hour. Most games consist of an attacker and a defender and are played using 24AP armies. It is most commonly played in 15mm scale, but 25/28mm scale armies are becoming increasingly popular.

At the start of each turn, a player rolls a six sided die. That is the number of PIPs that player has to use for that turn. They can be spent to perform ‘Tactical Moves’ with elements and other things.

When creating your 24AP armies you basically have a list of 20 different troop types (21 if you include Aerial Heroes as a separate type) to choose from. These are generic types and include things such as Spears, Warband, Riders, Beasts, Behemoths, Heroes etc… Each of these different troop types have an AP value ranging from 1 (Hordes) to 6 (Aerial Hero). When creating your army, no more than half of your available AP can be spent on elements that have a value of 3 or greater.

Each of these generic troop types has a combat value and a movement value. Most of the troop types also have special rules attached to them. For example Dragon units must be held off the table until you roll a 6 at the start of your turn and spend them all to bring it on. Hordes can be replaced by expending 1 PIP at the start of your turn and a variety of other rules can apply also, depending on the troop type.

Troop types also interact together in different ways through the use of the Combat Outcome table. For example if a Spears, Hordes or Clerics element’s combat total (d6 roll + combat factor) is less than that of the enemy, but more than half, then it will only be destroyed by a Warband element, or a Knights element if it is in good going (aka flat, clear ground).

Units will never become injured or damaged, they are alive or dead.

Each element (depending on it’s troop type) has a recommended depth for the base. This is used for things such as recoil. Each element has the same base width (40mm for 10-15mm armies and 60mm for 25/28mm armies)

One of the elements in your army is nominated as the General. The General gains some advantages when ordering units and when in combat. If he/she dies and you have lost more AP than your opponent, you lose. Look after your General!

Fantasy Rules 3rd Edition

Fantasy Rules 3rd Edition is also an element based wargame, but uses square bases instead. All the bases are the same size no matter what (however there are options for multi-base units to cover certain circumstances).

Games are played on a table at least 2’x3’ and take me up to 2 hours to play at 1500 points.

In Fantasy Rules, you are given a massive set of races/army types to choose from. Within these choices, you might have an army specific rule, for example the Amphibious army can have Water Breathing for free and Swimming for ½ cost. The army list also defines which units are available to you.

There are all in all a massive 41 different troop types available, which can be modified slightly by a limited number of special rules.

Elements in Fantasy Rules 3rd Edition are often not killed outright, but instead will have Demoralisation markers placed on them. There are penalties for being demoralised and when your element receives it’s third marker, it is removed from play (some troop types can take more hits like this than others).

The most important thing about Fantasy Rules is the Morale clock which operates depending on demoralisation and units killed. Basically whoever takes the most damage during a round loses 1 from it’s Morale clock. As the Morale clock gets lower, penalties come into play (assigning demoralisation markers to some of your units)

Characters in Fantasy Rules 3rd Edition are based differently to the elements and can be attached to other elements.

There is also a basic create your own unit system built in, but this could be abused very easily.

Mighty Armies: Fantasy

Mighty Armies is currently being rewritten and is in playtest as we speak. I understand that most of you won’t be able to get access to this until it is released, but I wanted to include it here as it is something I am playing (full disclosure being I am on the playtest team).

Mighty Armies is an element based wargame as well, but uses standard base sizes of 50mm wide x 25mm deep for the majority of elements, and 50mm square for larger elements.

Players have 40 points to spend on their armies, but this can be done however the player sees fit. There will be some set army lists to choose your army from, but it will also include a Build Your Own Army section where you can use up to 30 basic profiles and then adjust them by spending points on special abilities so you can make the element that you are after.

Movement is simplified. You can turn an element up to 90 degrees before moving them and after moving them. You can move your elements in groups of up to 6 elements (50mm square elements counting as two)

Each model has a movement score, a fight score and a support score, in addition to any special abilities they may have.

There are also commands that can be issued by the general and magic spells that can be cast across the field of battle.

Games are played on a 2’ square table and can be finished in under an hour.


Warmaster is rather innovative as it uses heroes and the general to issue orders by trying to roll under their Command score on 2d6. There are penalties for attempting to command the same unit more than once etc, it is still possible.

Units in Warmaster are made up of usually 3 stands. Each stand has a set of statistics including, Attacks, Hits and Armour.

When attacking any excess hits that don’t cause a stand to be removed are discounted, which means that you don’t really have any record between turns.

There are a number of army lists, but these are all set and there are no create your own options rather than scratch building one and playtesting.

Warmaster is played on a large table (at least 4’ square, but more likely 4’x6’) and can be finished in around 1 and ½ to 2 hours with 1000 – 2000 point armies. Warmaster is played exclusively at 10mm and almost all stands are 40mm x 20mm (cavalry is based 20mm x 40mm)

Pros and Cons and a brief comparison

Here is a list of pros and cons for me. You will notice some things are both a pro and a con. This just means there is a good side to it and a bad side.

Hordes of the Things


  • Great tournament game
  • Very balanced
  • Fast playing
  • Small playing area
  • Not a lot of models to paint – let’s you have lots of different armies
  • Not too strict on base depths (even thought the book is) so you can use your army under many rules sets.
  • Opponents are easy to find.


  • Very fiddly
  • Rules are still hard to read
  • Too generic (eg. All troop types of the same type are identical regardless of whether they are orcs or men or lizardmen, ratmen etc…)
  • Dead or alive states (no damage or injuring, you’re either dead or alive)

Fantasy Rules 3rd Edition


  • Lots of army lists
  • Detailed movement options
  • Create your own unit options
  • Morale Clock is cool
  • Provides options to do almost anything
  • Damaging units rather than outright destroying them.


  • Lost of the troop types are very similar
  • Magic is waaay overpowered unless restrict to level 1
  • Different basing doesn’t allow you use in as many rulesets without modification.
  • Create your own unit option can be easily exploited
  • Tracking damage (lots of counters everywhere)
  • Rules are hard to follow.
  • Almost too many options, loses sight of core gameplay.
  • Finding opponents (hopefully will improve with the TCE edition (which I haven’t actually sat down to play yet)

Mighty Armies


  • Fast game
  • Small playing area
  • Not many models to paint (good for having lots of armies)
  • Quite balanced
  • Build Your Own Unit option (able to define exactly what you’re after)
  • Movement is simplified
  • Rules written in an easy to understand way.
  • Flexible basing sizes.


  • Different scale of basing as standard (50mm wide if you use their bases) doesn’t allow for easy use in other systems
  • Dead or alive states (no damage or injuring, you’re either dead or alive)



  • Very cool ordering system
  • Units can be injured and damaged during play, but no record keeping is necessary
  • Rules are very well laid out and easy to understand.
  • Rules are free as a download (for Fantasy)
  • Supported by models by parent company (so all are relatively in scale with one another)


  • Soooooooo many models to paint (at least three times that of HOTT or MA)
  • Cavalry are based differently to every other system, so you can’t use the models across systems.
  • Skill will more often than not win out, but repeated failed command rolls are sometimes unrealistic
  • Limited number of army lists
  • No Create your own unit guidelines.
  • Need a much larger area


So this is the part where I sum up my thoughts.

Hordes of the Things is a game that I played for quite a while before picking up Mighty Armies and one that I did enjoy. It is very balanced and is usable with any miniatures I had. The interactions between different unit types and their abilities were really interesting and finite of course, because there was the set generic list. Opponents are easy to come by as it is very popular. There were two things that really bugged me about it though. The generic-ness of it was the first thing. They reason that a goblin horde is the same as a lizardman horde (even though lizardmen would be heaps stronger) because the goblin horde represents more figures. That’s fine, but it didn’t have the detail in it where I wanted. Which brings me to the second thing that irritated me. The fiddliness of the rules. Yes, in this respect it becomes an excellent tournament set because it is so set in stone, but for me it was unnecessarily awkward.

Fantasy Rules 3rd Edition was for me in theory a great game. It has a lot more unit options, but I don’t know that they interact with each other as interestingly as they do in other games. The basing was frustrating as squares because if I based for FR!3 then I couldn’t use the minis for other games, so to play I’ve had to construct specific bases (for 28mm figures), but with the smaller figs, I can’t do this, so it limited it’s use through square bases. Now I know you could just chuck them on a sabot base… but I like to play with properly based elements… I’m a bit picky that way.

I love the way the morale clock works and all the options the game presents, but there are soooo many options, that the game is a little overwhelming.

Warmaster is a game I would really love to play more. Even though it doesn’t have that create your own army function, the game game itself is a blast to play! I just love the Command mechanics and the way combats and shooting are resolved. It is a fast, clean system, that has a lot of nuances about it. The cavalry are based short edge forward, basically guaranteeing that you cannot use the figures for any other system, which is unfortunate. The only other thing holding me back is the number of figures you need to play. With three stands per unit, you are painting a heck of a lot of figures… I don’t have that kind of time unfortunately. So sadly, Warmaster, despite it’s greatness, sees little to no play.

When all is said and done, the system that I play the most at the moment is Mighty Armies. This is partly due to me being on the playtest team, but also due to the fact it is a very flexible system (in terms of unit creation) but doesn’t get too far out of hand. The movement is simple and never slows down play. It uses a small area to play on and I own armies in several scales (10mm, 15mm and 28mm). It is extremely fun and fast to play without getting bogged down in rules debates. So taking everything into account, my favourite is Mighty Armies, Warmaster a very close second, Hott coming in third and then FR!3, a game I thought I would like the best, coming in last.

Thanks for slogging through this post, I hope you have found it useful.

– Ben.

For more information on these games, you can check out their most relevant websites by clicking on the game of your choice.

Hordes of the Things

Fantasy Rules! 3rd Edition

Mighty Armies


What to do when you have the flu…

26 10 2008

Well here I am on a Sunday night, blowing my nose with a Cepacol in my mouth… the changing of the weather flu. Just as the days become nicer here in Melbourne and the temperature climbs, the grass grows extremely fast, the flowers in the garden bloom, dragonflies dart through the air… and I get the flu… every year without fail. So between bouts of shivering and sweating, I had a bit of spare time to do some painting and some writing.

Avatars of War

I have recently come across a real little gem of a game that many of you may not have heard of. It is a small scale game called “Avatars of War”. Think fantasy gladiators… interested? So am I! I saw this on Tabletop Gaming News the other day and proceeded to download the rulebook (which was free!) Over the past few days I’ve had a lot of time to read the book over. It is extremely well presented (although the download is in low res due to bandwidth, there is a physical copy available through their website Avatars of War: Arena DeathMatch)

They also have a number of miniatures you can purchase which are very high quality. Their Goblin King miniature is particularly cool. I will most certainly obtain several of these in the coming months, but will space them out due to their high cost and the Aussie dollar. Their rulebook however is very reasonably priced and so on Friday I put in an order for the hardcopy and searched through my minis for stand ins for the interim. In fact, I have been so sucked into this game, that I have already purchased more MDF to create my own Deathmatch Arena. I will be using a 2′ x 3′ board and am eager to get started.

Because each warband only has 3-5 models duking it out in the arena, you can really go to town on each model. The models that I have been painting during the time this blog has been in existance have been painted to what I thought was my best balance of time vs quality. I often painted in three layers (base, wash and highlight), but having a bit of time to myself, I decided to sit down and spend more time investing in addtional layers to see how well I could paint.

I was pleasantly surprised. Although the photos don’t really do them justice, I have included them below. I ended up with around 9 layers on the skink’s skin and 8 layers on the Orc Shaman’s. I know this is still a lot less than others, but this seriously took me ages. But because I’m only painting a couple of minis for Avatars of War, I don’t mind, and in fact I rather enjoyed going a bit slower and taking my time. I would thoroughly reccommend taking a model and just spending two or three times as long as you normally would, just to see how much better you can do.

The Skink will use the Goblin stats until either the Avatar of War team develop a ‘skink’ hero or I try my hand at it. 😉 The Orc Shaman represents exactly that. Please click on each photo to enlarge them. The lighting certainly didn’t capture all the highlighting unfortunately, but you get the idea.

Completed Swamp Dweller Army

In other news I finally finished my Swamp Dweller army for Might Armies. I have done up a set of profiles for them which we’ve been playtesting using the Mighty Armies Creation rules. I will be very excited to see these in action when Mighty Armies Fantasy gets released. I think they will be very popular.

Dusk teaser…

I have started playtesting on a new game that I have written called ‘Dusk’. I’m very excited about this game as I hope to publish it myself. I have also looked into getting some figures sculpted for it, but more on this at a later date.

I will be trying to keep more regular postings on this blog, but as I have started writing my kids’ reports, it will be whenever I get the time. I will try and use the blog as a time out between report writing.

So until then, have fun!

– Ben.