Tuesday, 10 October 2017

The 2nd Battle for Stone Pass (Part 3)

The main battle is joined.

The characters returned to where the Waterdeep light troops were staked out to the east of the keep. Carlssen was uncharacteristically brave and moved closer to the keep alone and cast his attack spell (lightning bolt). The goblin and ogre hordes, and now two regiments of orcs, began to advance on the characters' postion. They were soon joined by King Khargol himself, and Zindug, the orc shaman, who both appeared from inside the keep. The troop of orc guards (skulkers) at the top of the keep threatened to shoot their bows at anything that moved.

As the orcs advanced on the characters, the extremely blurry but disciplined Waterdeep forces of Captain Baldartin arrived. I decided to randomize where he would appear and his force (of course) appeared to the rear of the orcs to the south west.

Photia the Gnome decided to move north, back into the mountains. He claims it was to lie in wait and attack the ogre flank but Carlssen was secretly wondering if he was simply hiding from the battle.

The orcs advanced on the characters' position to the east and were oblivious to the arrival of Captain Baldartin. The forces of Mud Creek under Captain Darian then arrived. Again randomised, they appeared in the centre of the southern table edge, right on the flank of the orcs (of course).

Captain Baldartin moved his troops as quickly as possible toward the orcs' rear, trying to avoid the impassable huts and disordering terrain of the ogre squat.

Meanwhile, the archers and characters stood on the hill. They awaited the arrival of the ogres who could see their quarry and ignored everything else.

To the west, the goblin horde turned about, ready to face the troop of cavalry threatening to charge them across the disordering terrain and into their rear.

In the east the ogres were all but breathing down the necks of the archers. The wiley Tranky positioned himself on the ogres' flank and turned into a bear (i used the stats of a troll boss but without regenerate) and Photia finally appeared from the shrubbery on the ogres' rear. Ogre sammich coming up?

In the centre the orcs screamed their tradedmark warcry and charged the milita and one of the shieldwall regiments. King Khargol charged directly at Captain Darian while the shaman lurked behind them to bolster the orc spirits with a banechant spell. Captain Baldatirn wove through the orc huts, hoping for a flank charge on the orc regiment.

The orcs on the left flank fought nose to nose with the milita horde but neither gave way. The orc regiment on the right flank was repulsed and was then countercharged by both shieldwall regiments who were fought back by the tough orcs. King Khargol managed to waver Captain Darian but the Captain was healed by the halfling priestess Mistress Felliana, who graced the table in full plate armour and riding a small but viscious pony.

On the right flank (west), the Waterdeep cavalry decided they could not win a charge over broken ground at a phalanx horde of goblin stickers, so they retired.

On the left flank (east), the ogres were charged by Tranky and Photia and, due to the constant rain of arrows from the archers and the flank attacks, they wavered and were unable to countercharge. Carlssen moved into range of the keep and cast more spells at the guards on the roof.

The Orc regiment on the right flank (west) charged the shieldwall and broke it but were in turn charged in the flank by the other shieldwall who destroyed them. The remaining orc regiment and militia staggered back and forth but the milita finally broke and fled allowing the orcs to turn and threaten Captain Darian. It was at this point that the orc morale flagged when they saw King Khargol charge and fail to break Captain Darian. Captain Darian responded and charged King Khargol along with a shieldwall regiment and the King finally fell under their combined weight of arms. Mistress Felliana was there to utter healing prayers on the Captain once more. At the same time the goblins turned back to the centre to try and bolster the orc ranks.

On the left flank (east) the ogres were shot at by the archers but nothing came of it. This allowed the ogres to turn against their main threat, Tranky, who fought in bear form for the rest of the battle. Carlssen saw his opportunity and moved off towards the rear of the orc regiment and prepared his spells.

One more charge from Tranky and Photia and the ogres finally broke and ran. At the same time the last orc regiment was destroyed by a well aimed spell from Carlssen. Zindug the shaman found himself surrounded and was charged by Captain Darian and Captain Baldartin but managed to fight them off. The archers moved up and began to shoot at the guards in the tower who had been previously softened up by Carlssen's spells. Well aimed arrows fell upon the guards, causing them to flee.

Meanwhile in the centre the Waterdeep cavalry finally charged the goblin phalanx frontally and, not surprisingly were repulsed. The goblins rubbed their little green hands with glee and countercharged the cavalry, causing devastating wounds on the cavalry. But then a double 1 was thrown and the goblins were shocked to see, after the dust had settled, that the cavalry still stood their ground!

This left only the shaman and the goblins of the orc forces. Sadly round 6 was already over and there was no round 7 to be had so the game was called. I can only surmise that the goblins and shaman would have been scattered under the combined mass of the remaining human forces and characters.

But even though the shaman ran away, would he be back again another day?

The 2nd battle for Stone Pass (Part 2)

The photos of the battle below are all oriented so that the southern edge of the table is at the top of the picture. This part of the game was more of a preamble to the main battle.

The battlefield at dawn. The troop of light infantry is to the left (east) with the three characters behind the hill. Between their position and the Stone Pass keep is the now empty boar corral. The mountain range is to the north (bottom of the page) and the orc huts, ogre squat and goblin shanty town are arranged along the right side of the table (west).

A troop of Waterdeep Light Infantry snuck up to the east of the orc camp behind a convenient hill. The characters, Tranky, Photia and Carlssen followed them and then the three characters moved further north to the the edge of the mountains. Therese couldn't make it this time as she had to meet up her mates online instead (15 year olds *rolls eyes*)

From behind the hill the characters could spy out the whole encampment. They discovered that a troop of guards (skulkers) was still on top of the partially ruined keep.

The characters found that goblins had recently joined King Khargol's forces and erected a hasty shanty town to the north west of the keep.

The characters snuck westward to the goblin shacks but encountered a troop of skulking orcs hidden in the brush near Stone Pass itself. The skulkers shot their bows but missed everything and the characters soon routed them.

The characters slipped past the goblin shanty town to the west. Tranky decided to sew some mayhem and set the shacks on fire with the use of a Flaming Sphere spell (fireball), represented by the orange D20.

Immediately, a horde of goblins leapt out of the shacks along with a horde of orclings (snotlings, miniature goblins, whatever) and advanced on the characters.

The characters cast spells and shot arrows at the orclings and soon routed them with some lucky dice rolls before the orclings could retaliate. The characters then decided to retreat as the goblin horde advanced, backed up by a horde of ogres and a regiment of orcs who were roused by the goblin/orcling screams and smell of smoke

...concluded in Part 3...

The 2nd Battle for Stone Pass (Part 1)

So I've been playing a D and D 5e campaign with my family for the last year or so and it's come to the point where the players have decided to attack an encampment of Orcs with the help of some of the local townsfolk and some reinforcements from the neaby City State of Waterdeep. Instead of playing it out as a D and D game however, I thought it would be interesting to use Kings of War instead.

The campaign itself is based on  'A Source of Secrets' by Kristjan Matthiasson with a fair bit last minute modification by myself, as is usually the case with any campaign I run.

The characters are :
  • Photia the male gnome barbarian (played by my father)
  • Tranky the male half-orc druid (played by my son)
  • Carlssen the male halfling sorceror (played by my brother)
  • Therese the female tiefling bard (played by my other son when he's not on the computer)

The battlesite to be fought over was a mountainous field surrounding a defensive keep that protected the valley of Kyros from potential invasion through Stone Pass, the mountain pass to the north of the valley. Orcs and other greenskins had been sighted around the mountains to the north in increasing numbers and for several months there were rumours of a potential orc invasion. These rumours were soon found to be true when the Big Boss, King Khargol emerged to lead the greenskins toward the fertile lands in the valley of Kyros.

The first battle was between a force of orcs that had gathered under the banner of King Khargol. This force included orcs (including boar riders), orrogs, goblins, orclings and ogres. The humans, under the leadership of Captain Darian and Sargent Derrier, were attacked by an orc force under cover of night and the Stone Pass keep set alight. A confused battle ensued and, after losing Stone Pass keep itself to the flames, the Captain was forced to retreat, with as many forces as he could save, to Mud Creek where he and the villagers prepared their defences.

Word was sent through to the nearby City State of Waterdeep that the Orcs were on the move and, if left to their own devices, would soon overrun Mud Creek. This was a worry as the orcs could use the valley of Kyros as a base to gather more forces and potentially threaten Waterdeep itself.

The characters were not present for this first battle as they were busy elsewhere chasing a nasty necromancer. They had managed to unknowingly release this necromancer from his prison and they were trying to chase him down and put him back in prison before he could do any further damage.

Some weeks after the 1st battle of Stone Pass, the charming Captain Baldartin arrived from Waterdeep, heading up a force of cavary and light infantry. He assumed control of the valley's forces (which ruffled the feathers of Captain Darian) and called for some of his troops to scout out the area while the rest of his troops were to join the locals in building wooden palisades etc against the imminent Orc attack. The characters offered to help and scouted around the area. They found several disparate tribes of Orcs and Goblins who were busy ransacking farms, setting fields on fire, ambushing unsuspecting woodsmen, trapping boars to use as mounts, and generally having a great time. They also discovered that King Khargol had set up camp with a force of orcs and ogres in the half ruined Stone Pass keep and was waiting for the other rampaging orc tribes to calm down and rejoin him. The characters decided to at least hobble King Khargol's force by stampeding the boars that had been collected in a corral to the east of the keep, and then sneak back to the village.

Before all the orc tribes regrouped into an effective attacking force, Captain Baldartin decided to strike. The characters moved forward to Stone Pass keep to scout the area along with 10 of the Waterdeep light troops. Captain Baldartin followed up with his main force and his plan was to strike after dawn when the humans could see and the orcs would have bedded down.

 The human forces:

Captain Baldartin (hero)
2 x troops of Archers (Waterdeep Light Infantry)
2 x troops of Sargents (Waterdeep Medium Cavalry) led by Sargent Leff and Sargent Vite

Captain Darian (hero)
Mistress Felliana (wizard)
2 x regiments of shieldwall (experienced village warriors)
1 x horde of militia (village women, children, old men, incendiary pigs, etc ) led by Sargent Derrier

+ the three adventurers Photia, Tranky and Carlssen.

The Orc forces:

King Khargol (Krudger on a boar)
Zindug (Shaman on a boar)
1 x horde of goblin stickers led by the goblin boss Sagbag
1 x horde orclings
1 x horde of ogres (trolls but no regenerate) led by the ogre boss Clob
2 x regiments of orc ax
2 x troops of skulkers

How the 2nd battle for Stone Pass unfolded is in Part 2...

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Forgotten Heroes - Final Rush Job

Okay so here are my final entries for Forgotten Heroes. I was running out of time so I've thrown paint roughly in the direction of the figures and hoped for the best.


I went with the version of Color Kid that appears in the Legion of Substitute Heoes Special. This was released in 1985 so I guess that explains the shoulderpads and wedge haircuts. I started painting the rainbow that appears on Color Queen (on the right) and then I copyed this onto Color Kid. It wasn't until later that I realised the rainbow wasn't the usual ROYGBIV order - yet this is how it appears for Color Queen. Then I looked at all the versions of Color Kid and noticed that the artists didn't seem to stick to one order of colours, even within the same comic! But its too late now, I won't be changing them :-)

I left the eyes that blank color as that's how they appeared in the '85 comic - I don't know why the eyes are black as (I think) he wasn't made blind until a later story arc. I found the shoulderpads for Color Kid started out in the original concept as an elaborate collar, as seen here in the 1968 version. You can also see here the rainbow is out of whack again.

The hair in the '68 version seems sort of like that crew cut that some young kids seemed to get in the 60s, and is also sported by a very young Suggs from Madness here.

I regret not spending more time on these guys as they show some promise when you look a them from a distance :-) Maybe next year I'll make the guy I was first drawn to - that edgy, fatalistic Color King...

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Forgotten Heroes 2017 - Update

So I did manage to get a bit done on my heroes yesterday. I had to firstly scrape off a tiny bit of flash from the figures for Aurora, Northstar and the figure which I have chosen to become Color King with a scalpel blade. Then I attacked Aurora's long hair. This was relatively easy as it appears the head is a separate piece glued on, so the hair came away from her back fairly cleanly. I had to chop into her head to get her ready for the 80s wedge haircut that Color Kid seems to sport.

I then put some greenstuff on the shoulders of Aurora and Northstar to build up those 80s style shoulderpads. Then came the 'pirate-shirt' puffy sleeves for both of them. I seem to recall pirate shirts were also a fashion trend in the 80s - New Romantics like Adam and the Ants, Duran Duran, etc. All these 80s references made me start wondering if the characters were actually designed later than the Silver age cutoff date of 1970  - or do comic book styles inspire real-life fashion trends?

Last, I 'de-buffed' Northstar a bit by cutting back his pecs and abs as I wanted a flat surface for the rainbow that I'll have to paint on his torso. Similarly Aurora had a bit of greenstuff added to her torso to flatten out her bosom.

From the pics it appears I've been a bit rough with them so far so I'll have to go back and clean them up if I can - or not bother. I guess the wedge haircuts will be the next bit of modification before going on to painting although I don't fancy putting ears back on Aurora. I am also in two minds about bothering with making Color King using the trenchcoat guy. From his expression I suspect he doesn't want to be part of the process either :-)

Friday, 9 June 2017

Forgotten Heroes - 2017

Okay, so I said I'd join in this year's Forgotten Heroes Challenge and then I was told by my doctor I had to have my left kidney removed instead (true story). So this update is a bit late in coming. In fact I think it's been quite a while since I updated this page at all. I think life got in the way.

So this year, knowing full well that I know very little about comic book heroes in general, I was starting to worry about what I could do for this year's challenge. I then saw a clickbait style page on the worst comic book heroes ever which sounded just right for me. I looked through the list and, after a bit of um-ing and ah-ing, I settled on Color Kid. I googled him and found this comicvine page all about him. Color Kid's power is to be able to change the colour of things, that's all, just the colour. This didn't win him a position within the Legion of Super-Heroes but did win him the honour of being in the Legion of Substitue Heroes!

While reading the page I initially noticed that his superpower was next to useless which I found amusing. I also found it amusing that he was rejected by the Legion of Super-Heroes who I initially mistook for the Justice League that I remembered from the telly long ago. Then I noticed that in many illustrations he appears to have a rainbow displayed on his chest. This I also found amusing as I'm guessing the character was devised long before the rainbow was adopted as a symbol by the LGBTI community. This last bit is probably wrong but I only remember the rainbow becoming a symbol when everyone updated their facebook profiles with it just this decade. In contrast, I read that Color Kid appeared during the Silver Age of Comics which was from '1956 to circa 1970'.

In the next paragraph I noticed that Color Kid spent some time as Color King. He somehow lost his sight and became all edgy and a bit Neil-Gaiman-Sandman-ish in appearance. Maybe this was during the nineties or something but it reminded me of the time I mispent reading Sandman comics (see last year's effort for Forgotten Heroes).

I eagerly read further into Color Kid's history, i.e . further down the web page. For some reason he spent some time as Color Queen. This is when I started thinking he should be some kind of LGBTI icon, if he isn't already.

This sealed the deal and so I bought a bulk lot of cheap heroclix minis from ebay with an eye to converting one or more of them. So the grand scheme is to try and convert one or more of these heroclix figures into one or more incarnations of Color Kid.

According to their bases they *were* Northern Star, Aurora, Vamp, maybe Death's Head and some other guy - I forgot to check the names before I removed the bases of the last two. Hopefully some greenstuff and paint will see them transform into this year's forgtten hero :-)