Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Your palette and you... being best buddies

I bet you all thought you were going to see another Bilbo's bash battle report, didn't you?  Well, you will be seeing one soon, but before that, I thought you might have some fun with this.

We start with a basic sort of base, using cork, some textured plasticard, oxide paste, and even some junk resin sprues.  The base size  is 80mm, by the way.

Many people ask about what my palette is like.  I try to show that more and more in my "how to" posts, such as the Great Eagle from CMON.

This is very typical of how I lay out my colors.  I don't think in terms of "space Wolves Grey" or "Blood Red", etc.  I am just interested in setting up a typical set of colors that I can mix and match where needed.

That means covering the essentials, yellow red and blue.  I will sometimes include other colors, but you can see how they are arranged from the warmest to the coolest.  I also like to have a dark to light set up as well.

Putting the colors in that semi circle, lets me pull from each one and mix in the open area.

Since I am using a bigger brush, as usual, it allows me to mix more efficiently.

Sometimes I like to 'pre mix' a set of dark to light colors, as you see with the blueish grey strip on the palette,  Note, it is very helpful to mix in glaze medium and/or cover your palette to keep colors wet.  I am not doing that here for obvious reasons.

You can see how I used that strip of color to paint the deck plating.

I am trying to get some contrasting warmer colors around the deck plating, so the blueish greys are more unique, hopefully emphasizing the metallic nature of that material.

I use the yellowish colors to further lighten the rocks and the concrete chunks.  I also add some rust at this point.

I continue to develop the lighter colors, but now I spread a little green/grey color onto the rocks on the back sections of the base.

More highlights on the deck plating, and I try to spread out the rust stains on other surfaces.

As I lighten the concrete chunks, I try to maintain some dark stains on the pieces, but I continue to lighten it on other places.

This view shows you that back section of the base, with the highlights.

I went back in with a small brush to pick out more highlights in various areas, such as the deck plating.

I go back into this with a few darker glazes, and it is just about ready to go!

And here it is.  I hope this demonstrates clearly the way I use my palette!

Bogged down by the Bayou Dwarves? I feel swampy...Game Three

For Game Three, it was back to the Easterling alliance.  I already described in a previous post what I wanted to do with this army, and how it was supposed to operate.  When I saw that dwarves were the opponent, I was both upbeat and nervous.

I knew that I could move almost 3 times as fast as the dwarves with my cav and chariots, with my infantry also moving nearly double the stunties.  However, they would have lots of attacks, the high defense and fight skill, along with the throwing axes.

Normally, you could maneuver around that, and pick your spot to attack.  As you can see by the terrain, that was going to be tough to accomplish.  There were not a lot of places the cav and chariots could go, which was going to make getting at the dwarves difficult.  The scenario was Lords of Battle, so killing dwarves was the primary way to get victory points!

I had my same bonus card as the previous 2 games.  I figured I should be able to make that happen, but the dice would not be on my side in this match.

Here is the deployment.  Student body left for me, trying to avoid the massed dwarf bows for at least 1 turn.

I used the drum to move everybody up in terms of infantry, so that I would not be relying only on cavalry charges.  I also figured that it would split some of the dwarf bow fire.  As usual, though, all the shots would go against the chariots.  That was helpful for me.

Note the red dwarves on the left.  You will be seeing those guys again.

Anyway, my hope was to either surround the dwarves, or run back and forth in front of them in an attempt to get them to spread out.

Given the terrain, spreading them out was not going to work, since they could essentially 'hide' in the swamps.  Yes, it cut down their move, but I would lose any charge bonus for the cavalry, giving them a 2 to 1 edge in attacks.  Bow shots miss.  A lot.  Ping off chariots.  A lot.

At this point, I said the heck with it an said it was go time.  The red dice (as usual) indicate cav charges.  You can also see that I was able to get a fair amount of infantry into the mix, so that the cav and chariots were not on their own.

I do a little bit of damage in the initial assault, but not as much as I would have liked.  This is where repeated loss of priority was gonna screw me...

One reason I wanted to engage as I did was to minimize all those archers standing around on the left hand side of the board.  I discussed in both of the other games.  Now that everything was pretty much engaged, the archers would have to take a lot of time to get around towards the hand to hand fighting.

I was learning a lot about Iron Guard and Khazad Guard and such.  Despite that higher fight skill, and a banner to boot, I was able to keep thinning down the dwarves.  even break points were starting to enter the discussion...

As you can tell by the blue priority disk, the dwarves were stubbornly hanging on to it.  I am able to get some charges, and keep whittling down dwarves.  I had a slight lead on the casualty count.  Could I actually pull this off?

Well, it all came down to the last turn.  I was 1 away from the break point, while he was 2 away.  Our regular troops traded kills, which meant that it would be up to the Khandish King to get that final kill.  If he did so, I would get a 2 point win on casualty count, since both armies would be broken.

Since he had a fight skill of 4 and a strength of 4 (and 4 dice to roll for wounds), things were looking good!  Just one '5' was all that I needed.

Sadly, all I rolled were ones and twos.  I had no might left, since I was forced to use it all up with the repeated loss of priority.  That meant that I was only +2 on the casualty count, and he was still one away from breaking.

The dwarves got the +3 bonus for not being broken, giving them a 1 point win.  Ouch.

That would end the day with a pair of 1 point losses, which is not exactly what I had hoped for.

I knew going in that LOTR is a lot like Blood Bowl, where games all too often come down to one single roll of the dice (especially in smaller games like these).  That's why I don't play much Blood Bowl any more :-)

Of course, I realized that I was facing armies I had never seen before, and that learning curve was going to be painful at times.  Tomorrow would see a significant change, as I started to go up against things that were more familiar, and some improved rolls!  Stay tuned for Day Two, the Revenge of the Blood Rose!!!

The Knights of the Blood Rose go to war! Round Two

Round Two of Bilbo's bash saw me bring out the Elves for another objective based Domination scenario.  600 points, as before, with another bonus mission.  Both of our bonus missions were exactly the same as the first game.  Neither of us would even come close to achieving those.

The philosophy behind the Elf army was much more simple than the Easterling Alliance.  Here, it was all about the stormcallers, Delilah and Sam.  If you are familiar with the training games that Rich and I have done, you know Delilah very well!

Basically, the stormcaller lies in wait for an advance (preferably by some sort of mounted or cav type unit), and then jumps out to cast Nature's wrath, using all my will dice in hopes of 'wild channeling', which would give me back my used will points!

Once the enemy is on the ground, they are pounced on by the elves, with spear support.  My cavalry and Gwaihir slip around the back of the piles of downed enemies so that those guys cannot get back up and help out their fallen comrades.

After our setup, you can see that I have both stormcaller units on the extreme right and left.

As it would turn out, I would have been better off putting the unit on the left inside that ruined building, risking the bow shots from the Uruk-hai I was facing.  You will see why soon.

The Isenguard orcs advanced quickly, seeking the objectives on my side.  The archery for the orcs did not do a whole bunch, but it was something I had to consider each turn with the objectives relatively exposed.  Here you can get a better view of the unit on the left.

The shaman had cast fury, and I knew what I had to do.  The stormcaller tried to get into position to do his Nature's wrath...

Gwaihir waited behind them, with the thought that if the whole unit was knocked down, the Great Eagle would be able to fly over everything and squeeze the shaman.  Even if he didn't kill him, the fight would be lost, and fury would be gone

In the center, I had to feign a few charges by the elf cavalry to make the orc unit in the center hesitate as much as possible.  My plan was to have the stormcaller unit with Gwaihir wipe out the orcs on the left, link up with the Knights, and sweep the board to the right.

At this point, everything is setting us very well.  Even on the right, I have a chance to do a big knock down with Delilah on some unsuspecting orcs...

The knights do a select set of charges in the center, hoping for some cheap kills, while Delilah prepares to KO the advancing marauders in front of her.  This is where things would start to go awry.  It started with the cavalry doing very poorly.

I lost priority for this crucial turn (a very very common theme for the weekend), but that is actually a good thing when I want to pull of this sort of 'blast and bash' attack combo.  As long as the stormcaller is free, he can knock down all the enemy, and free up my own troops to whack them when they are down.

You can see that I pulled that off, and even killed the shaman!  However, trying to come around the corner as I did limited the amount of guys I could get in there, and I did not kill enough orcs in the initial strike.  This would cast me the game, eventually.

With repeated loss of priority, I have way less control of all the fights, which starts to bog me down on the left.   I bring the cavalry over there to try and assist... the banner should certainly help!

Well, not really.  Not only did I not kill the orcs on the left, I started losing troops of my own!  Even with Seregond my champ, and the banner.  Not good .  Plus, time is starting to run short.  Delilah does her knock down, which slows the orc advance, but they have too many troops over there for me to kill them all.

I do manage to extract myself from the orcs on the left, with one of my cav holding that objective.  I needed to get the center objective to be contested, as the orc archers grabbed the one in the rear on the right side

I sent Gwaihir and one cav in a desperate charge in the center, positioning myself between the orcs and the objective.  The idea was to win the fights and push them away from the objective if I could not kill them outright.

I did something similar on the objective in my right corner with some infantry.  I made a ring around the objective, and shielded with everybody.  I won almost all the fights, and pushed enough orcs out of the way to get that objective.

In the center, however, I was not able to kill one of the three remaining orcs, so we tied at 2/2 on that one.  In fact, we tied on the objectives overall.

Only one more victory point opportunity remained.  Wounds on the army general.  Sadly, that early combat in the center with the cav charge put an unsaved wound on Seregond.  This would give the orcs the one point they needed to win.  Bummer!

However, the Knights of the Blood Rose would get some serious revenge on Day Two...