Friday, 16 September 2016

Horned Folk Army Project Part 2

Hi!

I've managed to finish off a second Wartower for my Horned Folk army!

 Horned Folk Wartowers

I've still got one more to finish to get the formation up to strength but I am already thinking about adding some more firepower to my force as the Aeroth setting I am developing is going to be a bit more science-fantasy so my decidedly low tech Horned Folk are in need of some more arcane tech to beef them up a bit!

Warband on the move.

It's rather nice to have finished a paintjob that I started 18 months ago and the force does seem to be slowly coming together! As with the other Wartower, the basis for the wooly rhino is a Irregular Miniatures 15mm scale rhinoceros with a howdah, crew and armour sculpted on. I also extended the horns and built up the bulk of the beast as well.

I'm going to get some more infantry added for my next update and hopefully a somewhat bigger beast too but in the meantime, All the best!

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Horned Folk Army Project Part 1

Hi!

Well I've survived my first week back at work and have been pondering on finishing off a project I started some time ago in the form of my Horned Folk army...

Looking back, it's been about 18 months since I touched the project and I have some fun ideas that I want to try out on my 6mm fantasy gubbins so I figured it was high time to have a bash at building up my forces a bit!

 Horned Folk Warband thus far

The backstory of the Horned Folk is that they were one of the first races to inhabit Aeroth but were all but destroyed by the Elves during the Age of Legends and the survivors retreated into their great barrows to sleep away the ages before being re-awoken by The Death.

Now having spent quite a while scribbling notes about the setting of Aeroth, I do want to move the tech level forward a bit so it's not quite so dark ages and more science fantasy so most forces will feature magical or mechanical constructs to do battle and the Horned Folk are currently looking a bit under equipped.
 Horned Folk Warrior regiment

Inkeeping with their Minotaur styling, I am going to post up a background article on them to flesh them out a bit and make them fit in with the setting a bit more but at present, I want to concentrate on rounding out the force a little and looking at what I have, I will finally try and finish off my two remaining small wartowers as well as another four stands of Beastkin which will give me a good basis for a force.

 Beastkin Regiment

The next step will be to flesh out the force a bit with some arcane tech, larger wartowers and some more high status infantry. I am going to try and sculpt much of the warbeasts myself as I have a pretty specific look that I am trying to achieve but one of the joys of 6mm scale gaming is that you can field truly massive monsters and I look forward to creating some really big beasts to march to war alongside hordes of infantry and cavalry!

 Small Wartower

Games will still be played on a small board, no larger than 3'x3' or possibly 3'x4' and rules wise, I am actually pondering reworking Epic 40k as it's such a slick little system that I think will work well with the sort of game I want to play. I doubt I will be fielding massed formations but it will provide enough space for a decent amount of maneuver before the armies clash!

 Cyclops

Another good thing about the project is that it can be completed on a modest budget as post wedding, the hobby budget is pretty puny. It will also be rather refreshing to actually finish a project for a change as I only need to paint about six bases to complete everything I have!

Fallen Renegade

I will be rummaging around my 6mm stuff to provide enough figures to bump my Beastkin regiment up to 8 bases as well as painting up the last two wartowers but will also be trying to sculpt something a bit bigger which will act as a nice centrepiece to the force so watch this space!

All the best!

Sunday, 4 September 2016

A Guide to Forgotten Games Part 3

Hi!

Well I'm back from my hols and down to my last day off and thought I'd post another guide to some of the fantastic but largely forgotten games in my collection!

Celtos


Celtos was a fantasy ruleset released by i-Kore not too long before it imploded and featured a world based around Celtic mythology and Slaine the graphic novel with the Gaels defending their island home from the villainous Formorians and Fir Bolg whilst Vanir raiders and the mysterious Sidhe also featured.

I actually helped demo this game back in my Borders days and it was really good fun with a great combat system based on Void 1.1's mechanics but with a really brutal and fitting mod or two which made for some really entertaining games.

Sadly the game was just gathering strength when i-Kore expired messily but the good news is that Brigade Models have the rights to produce the game and is slowly working on updating it to a new edition and by the sounds of things, are finally getting there with it and I'd love to see it getting more attention!

The forces were rather good looking and really possessed that Slaine vibe, especially as the concept artist for the range was Clint Langley, the same chap who worked on Slaine for 2000AD!

Hopefully we will see a new edition of the game in the not too distant future but in the meantime, the miniatures and original rulebooks are still available from BRIGADE MODELS (who also sometimes run really good deals on the range!) so do head over and take a peek!


Leviathan



Ah Leviathan! I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Leviathan as I adore the setting and the forces but the miniatures range is pretty rubbish and the rules themselves need a lot of work.

This isn't to say it's no good, the rulebook is available as a free download from Scotia Grendel and well worth a peruse, if for no other reason than for the setting which is delightfully post apocalyptic with the Elves essentially causing armageddon by breaking ancient magical seals which unleashed the Fallen and the ensuing chaos warps and changes the world beyond recognition.

This was one of the first games I picked up post GW and over the years have tried repeatedly to get the game revamped and given some of the recognition that it deserved but each time I tried, I ended up either burning out or giving up from frustration and it almost made me leave the hobby entirely on more than one occasion.

Having now played the game repeatedly, I am struck by how it could be great but is let down by the lack of playtesting and proofreading that went into it. There's a nugget of gold in there and I think with a bit of hard work, it could become one of the great games but it has a lot of problems too.

in 28mm scale, the setting would make for a great skirmish game, ala Chronopia or even Mordheim but they went for mass battle which involves massive warbeasts which take an age to paint and a vast table space to game in.

In 15mm scale, it would be ideal and I've even put a bit of work into putting together a force for it in that scale but once again, a mixture of work and hobby exhaustion has really put the brakes on the project.

Hopefully with my spring clean of the blog will see me re-explore Leviathan and the world of Aeroth but I find myself using the original as a stepping off point as I want to push the setting further and make the game a bit more compelling.

I find that with a lot of the games I have mentioned in my blogging there seems to be a kernel of what I want in the ideal game, be it rules, setting or aesthetics but none of them really have just what I want from a game.

That's not the point of this article though as I find perusing all these forgotten gems worth while as they inspire me to form my own setting or lift elements from them to enhance other rulesets.

I have my suspicions that I will be exploring the world of Aeroth at great length in the coming weeks and months too as I have put so much work into it, its almost taken on a life of its own and I am exploring the possibilities of pushing the setting forward a bit more...

Freebooter's Fate


Freebooter's Fate is a skirmish ruleset produced in support of a miniatures range sculpted by Werner Kloke and I picked up the ruleset and expansions a couple of years ago but am yet to actually play it but do feel it has some real potential for small skirmishes in a fantasy pirate themed world.

Having perused the rules themselves, I'm rather struck by the unique combat system as well as the luscious artwork and miniatures themselves featured throughout the game. I must admit that from time to time I do want to play around with a pirate themed sort of game and at some point, I do want to For some reason, Freebooter's Fate doesn't seem to have much of a web presence in the blogosphere and I can't quite figure out why as it looks cracking and the miniatures themselves are readily available in the UK online.

I'm currently swithering about picking up a couple of crews and having a go at gaming it but haven't really got the budget to try out a new game system at the moment but may treat myself for my birthday...

Either which way, do have a look at some of the demo boards the game has been played on as they look fantastic! I'd also recommend taking a peruse of the quickstart rules which are freely available from FREEBOOTER MINIATURES as they are rather funky and well worth a read.

Well I've blethered on a bit about games and whatnot, I figure I should probably use a bit of my last day off to actually do some painting!

Hopefully you've found some interesting stuff to have a read of games wise with my small selection and next update, I hope to actually show some painted miniatures and stuff! 

All the best!

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

A Guide to Forgotten Games Part 2

Hi!

Following on from my previous post, I thought I'd post some more of the forgotten games from my collection that in days gone by I really enjoyed but are now largely forgotten.

Star Mogul


Star Mogul was originally produced by Alpha Forge Games in the US and it grabbed my attention with the quirky miniatures that were produced to go along with it. The game itself is set in our future when humanity has colonised a fair chunk of space but an ancient alien pathogen has wiped much of the frontier worlds out. Over a century later, salvage crews have begun exploring these lost worlds and fighting each other to gather the riches they find.

One of the things I really liked about Star Mogul was the fact that it wasn't super soldiers fighting gribbly aliens but working joes eking out a living on the frontier in a new gold rush amongst the stars.

That's not to say there weren't any aliens in the game. The supplements brought in the Hydrassians, Asteroid Miners, Android Cults and Mephelians, each with their own motivations and rewards for scrap recovery.

Looking back, it kind of reminds me of a cross between Necromunda and Gorkamorka but without the fantasy elements. Sadly the game went out of production when Alpha Forge was sold off. There was a brief hope of a revamp when Mega Minis took over production and a revised edition was produced of the rules (I still prefer the original though as the artwork on the new one just didn't do it for me!).


Alas, Mega Minis closed its doors and Star Mogul faded into obscurity again. Its not all lost though as I have uploaded the original rulesets onto Scribd so you can download them and have a bash at gaming out some small skirmish actions in a ruined future!

While the alien races may be a tad harder to proxy, the human salvage teams are fairly easy to rework using pretty much any sci-fi range out there and I'd highly recommend at least downloading the rules and having a peruse as they contain some really nifty ideas for games at the smaller end of the scale.

I must admit that I've always intended to someday collect up an X12 Android Cult so that the AI's can fight for their freedom from human control!


Kryomek


Kryomek was one of the first games I picked up post GW and I loved the Aliens vibe that the artwork and background had but found the rules a bit clunky and uninspired.

I must admit that I have mixed feelings about the game as the setting is decent and the artwork on show is petty great and really sets the scene for humanity to discover it is not alone amongst the stars. A hive mind of an alien intelligence called the Kryomek is living out there and promptly attack forcing the two races into a war of extermination amongst the cold outer worlds.

While the setting really gets one interested, the rules themselves aren't fantastic and as is the case with several of the smaller rulesets, the game hasn't been well playtested or proof read as there are gaping holes in it that need sorting out.

Fantasy Forge did try to sort this out by releasing Hivestone which fleshed out the setting a bit and provided points costs and armylists but I firmly believe that Kryomek as it was could really have done with being produced in 15mm scale to cover the grand sweeping battlefield with hordes of Kryomek trying to overwhelm the firepower of  Nexus marines.

Now it may sound like I'm trashing Kryomek here, but its worth downloading the rules from Scotia Grendel (They're free too!) as they make for interesting reading for a setting and the Kryomek are a nice alternative to the likes of the Tyranids for 40k or Xenomorphs for alien type games. I must admit that I'd love to see Kryomek being re-released as a proper skirmish game featuring a squad or two of humans against alien menaces as they try to clear out a hive or settlement ala Aliens!

Chronopia


Ah Chronopia! Possibly my favourite fantasy game!

Produced by Target Games, the same company which brought us Warzone, Chronopia was a cracking game with innovative rules and a grimly compelling setting. It was also a game of large shoulderpads which some folks were put off with but I loved the over the top styling of the assorted races. 

The Elves wielded massive axes and the humans all looked a bit chaotic with their oversize plate and chunky weapons. The Dwarves were fantastic and animalistic whilst the Orcs, or Blackbloods as they were known were actually pretty civilised!

I fondly remember collecting up and painting a Dark Tusk Dwarf force and avidly reading the rulebook and subsequent forcebooks that were released and I was really saddened when Target closed down and Chronopia was relegated to the dustbin of forgotten games.

There was a brief last huzzah when a US company gained the rights for a while but it too folded and Chronopia vanished once again. Even the miniatures are virtually impossible to get hold of now as they were terribly prone to lead rot and I've not found any over the last few years which haven't suffered from that complaint making collecting a force rather a difficult prospect.

Over the last few months, I must admit that I've been thinking of trying to put together some proxy forces for the game but the unique styling of most of them has thus far proved a difficult obstacle to overcome and I am having to face facts that if I want to make a proper go of it, I am going to have to sculpt the stuff myself. 

This isn't too serious an issue but it is very time consuming so I have no idea when I will actually have the chance to complete such an ambitious idea!

Crucible


Crucible is another of the games produced by FASA briefly before it shut up shop but I always found it rather an intriguing game. It centres around the discovery of a new continent and the scramble to colonise it and exploit its resources by the various fantasy races who inhabit Ashkelon. 

The setting itself is rather good and the races have been changed enough to move away from the usual fantasy tropes. The Elves are all a bit cruel and perverse, the humans are ruled by an eternal woman, the Orcs are noble savages defending their homelands from imperialist invaders and the Dwarves are homeless vagrants. The list goes on but needless to say, it's a really great source of inspiration by itself.

The rules themselves are really very good and cover different formations and from the few times I played it, work really well and would even give the best editions of Fantasy Battle a run for their money. What let it down, other than going out of production within six months with the closure of FASA, was the miniatures!

The sculpts were a bit of a mixed bag with some really nice sculpts alongside some truly awful ones, plus the fact that no unit had more than two sculpts making for an annoyingly repetitive look. That being said, it is fairly easy to proxy pretty much every unit type so it's another game I fancy having a re-explore of this year (if I can find my copy which I seem to have mislaid!) 

Whee! 

Well I've listed a few of the games I hope to spend a bit of time with over the coming months and I am sure I will find more as I go through my collection and I am hoping to use the opportunity to paint some stuff, game a bit and actually enjoy my hobby!

In the meantime, All the best!


Monday, 15 August 2016

A Guide to Forgotten Games Part 1

Hi!

Well I thought I'd get the ball rolling with a bit of a guide to some of the games I am hoping to explore in the coming weeks and months and the thinking behind what I plan on doing with them!

Warzone 1st Edition


Ah Warzone! After leaving the GW hobby and getting rid of literally every miniature I had, I happened across this cracking game when I nipped into Mac's Models on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.



With its cutting edge artwork and rules, not to mention the pleasingly chunky and characterful miniatures that came along with it, I was strongly drawn to the game and the setting. Having experienced nothing game wise than 40k and a bit of Fantasy Battle, the lavishly coloured (if poorly bound) rulebook was an eyeopener.

Packed with illustrations by Paul Bonner, Paulo Perente and featuring the sculpting talent of much of the ex Citadel team, I loved the dark setting with the mega-corporations fighting it out over resources in the inner planets of the solar system whilst the sinister threat of the Dark Legion threatened to plunge mankind into eternal darkness.



Sounds a bit similar to Warhammer 40k you may think, but the hope of moving forward and overcoming the evil forces arrayed against them by small forces of humanity's finest in the form of Doom Troopers and the Brotherhood, not to mention lowly grunts on the battlefield really made it stand out.

Similarly, the rules themselves were far more interesting than 2nd edition 40k. The forces were far smaller, usually a couple of squads backed up by a hero or small vehicle and the alternative activation system appeared like a breath of fresh air. Troops could dive for cover, dig in and perform all manner of interesting actions that made each trooper vital and not just cannon fodder.

Gone were the fantasy elements of 40k with its space Elves and Orcs and in their place, a selection of Human forces, each with their own motivations, styles and back story and standing against them, The Dark Legion with its nightmare creatures!

Great stuff!

I have fond memories of painting up a squad of Imperial Blood Berets, a squad of Wolfbane Commandos and a Necromower which gave me an entire force for under £20! This would actually be the first force that I ever fully painted and it saw quite a bit of action against a similarly ragtag force of Demigonis Dark Legion troopers.

Sadly most of them were sold off when I headed off to uni but I did keep one or two bits and bobs and hope to re-explore the Mutant Chronicles universe at some point in the not too distant future. Who knows, I may even attempt to recreate the force I originally had 21 years ago!

Void 1.1



As with so many games I list here, Void 1.1 came and went with barely a notice by many but it too was a great game worthy of taking a look at!

Created by the same team that brought us Warzone, Void 1.1 was a very different fish than its ancestor, or pretty much any other game available at the time. Set in a universe where Humanity had explored the stars and begun fighting amongst themselves before the discovery of the Koralon, a strange aquatic race of aliens whose terraforming and genetic manipulation of anything they encountered posed the greatest threat humanity had ever faced.


For the first edition of the game, the artwork was provided by Stuart Beel and the arts bright, cartoony and almost Anime stylings really made the game pop when compared to the Grimdark that 40k was rapidly becoming and the Battles With Miniatures magazine i-Kore produced, which included new forces, units and the odd battle report and painting article was a fascinating way of slowly building up small forces.

I actually demo'd the game at Borders books once or twice in Edinburgh and even had a VASA force painted black and green in store colours but once again, i-Kore folded and the game vanished from people's games tables.

Again, most of the forces available were humans but each had a quirk and style of it's own, be it the dinosaur mounts of the Viridians, the penal legions of the Junkers, Syntha's AI units or VASA's close combat teams, I loved the fact that the setting itself was quite loose and encouraged you to develop your own forces, often using figures available to each faction!


Now Void has morphed and mutated over the years into Urban War and now a 6mm mass battle game but the original is still the best in my opinion and I'd love the chance to re-explore the game and possibly build a couple of forces..

Handily, the rules and even the miniatures are still in production so it's relatively easy to pick up and get some forces put together. The question is, do I have the time or space!

Speaking of which, I do actually have a few bits and bobs kicking around for a Syntha force and actually painted up a few of them last year so maybe 2016 is going to see me actually get some more bits and bobs painted up for the force.

Only time will tell but I must admit that I find the prospect rather an appealing one as I love the visual aesthetic of the forces and the sculpts themselves have held up surprisingly well, despite being almost 20 years old in some cases. Yes there's a few howlers amongst the range (I'm looking at you original Koralon sculpts!) but there's some interesting prospects for painting ahead.

Vor: The Maelstrom


Vor: The Maelstrom was released by FASA in 1999 and featured the planet Earth being sucked into a pocket dimension called Vor which was a tad inconvenient for all involved as the planet was stuck in the middle of a new cold war between the US led Union and Russian Neo Soviets. 


I must admit that I came late to the setting, picking up the box set from Ral Partha Europe after Void 1.1 vanished and quite liking what I saw. There was enough crunch to keep games entertaining but the alien races were really fun. There were the Growlers, massive reptilian looking apes who devoured pretty much anything they encountered, the Pharon, a race of undead types and the Shard, crystalline entities who hated all other living beings. Mix in some jingoistic humans and you had quite an entertaining mix.

Sadly, as with many of FASA's releases at the time, the miniatures were a rather mixed bag with some fantastic sculpts alongside some pretty terrible ones but it still held quite an appeal to me and I do believe that given time, the rules would have continued to improve and the figures would have got better too. Unfortunately, as always, the game went out of production about six months later when FASA closed it's doors.

The game's creator Mike 'Skuzzy' Nelson did make a brief attempt to get the game back into production with a new edition a few years back but it went nowhere and the few holdouts of the game drifted away and Vor slid into oblivion again... 

Battletech



Now Battletech is an odd bird, it's been around longer than 40k, has more supplements and fiction and even a constantly evolving setting but why don't people play it? 

On the one hand, it's got a fantastic setting and involves giant stompy robots beating the stuffing out of each other in a neo feudalistic setting as humanity teeters on the brink of falling into savagery following hundreds of years of almost constant warfare. 

Losing technology and fighting over dwindling resources with massive war engines sounds fun but the game itself is just so slow, everything requires record keeping from ammo expenditure to damage and even heat. The result is a game that can take hours to play between just a handful of mechs.

Things aren't helped with the storyline which saw the introduction of the Clans, descendants of Humanity's finest military who have returned to the Inner Sphere to reclaim their empire and bring with them all manner of new and shiny tech. This saw rules bloat of an incredible degree and while I adore the Succession Wars era, I just can't bring myself to care about anything past about 3050 and the arrival of the Clan menace. 

Of late, it looks like Catalyst Games has tried to slim things down a bit by releasing a new tabletop version of the game which looks rather promising but I must admit that I am finding the urge to redevelop the setting to my own ends, disposing of the Clans and using another ruleset to game out mech combat. 

What if things developed a little differently and technology moved in a different way? What if the mechs didn't tend to look quite so silly but proper, chunky military hardware? Can the setting cope with a bit of tweaking but still keep it's almost Dune like intriguing and jockeying for position amongst the great houses. Can humanity continue to grow and develop or descend into another darkage?

Over the coming weeks, I hope to begin by reviewing some of the classic era guidebooks and beginning to flesh out my setting before painting up the odd mech or two to fight things out with!

Gosh!

I seem to have rambled on a bit! There are several other games I plan on exploring over the coming months, some of which I want to play out a game or two of and others which have a setting that would be fantastic to explore in more depth so watch this space as I continue with my rambling explorations and hopefully even paint up some bits and bobs...

In the meantime, All the best!

Revamping Things!

Hi!

As you may have noticed, I've deleted all the posts here. I was starting to despair over actually having any hobby time and Tales From Farpoint was beginning to groan under all the random gubbins posted on it.

Worry not though! I've backed it all up on a BACKUP BLOG which will stay online for as long as required so if folks do fancy perusing it, please feel free!

I do have some plans for Farpoint though! While I have things on the go for my own sculpts, I do want to keep exploring some of the other ideas I've been faffing around with over the last few years!

The problem I've faced is the sheer weight of stuff that I've posted over the last few years and it's combined weight has been utterly crushing all the increasingly feeble attempts I've made to boot some life back into my hobby so I took the drastic measure of clearing all the content off and starting again!

Another issue I've had is my drop off in interest in 40k and Rogue Trader. I originally started this blog to cover all sorts of Oldhammery sorts of stuff but in recent years, I've found myself less interested in Games Workshop's products and pulled more into some of the other fantastic games and settings that have come and gone over the years!

Oddly enough, I've found the process rather empowering and am rather looking forward to getting back to basics again.

Here's a quick preview of what I plan on working on after I return from my holidays:


 Classic Warzone

Void 1.1

 Vor: The Maelstrom

Battletech Reimagined

Whilst I have pretty much got over the GW obsession, I do have a fondness for painting 6mm gubbins so there may be some more Epic scale bits and bobs appearing from time to time!


Now I don't know if I am going to paint 6mm, 15mm or 28mm stuff but I am looking forward to re-exploring the joys of wargaming!

All the best!