Monday, 18 January 2010

Winter 988 - Campaign Update

The battles of the Autumn have changed the face of Talomir. The Border Kingdoms, once the buffer between the civilised south and the goblin-filled north, are no longer there. One can only hope that the Brethren are willing to take on that role now that they have subjugated part of that nation. Or will this year see rebellion and uprisings?

The Treyine juggernaut has continued to storm through the lands and only winter has stopped them. What will spring bring? More bloody flowers being planted throughout Talomir?

The situation during Winter 988 (click the picture for a larger version):

Following the debacle in battle against Treyine, the Hykari have had their leader torn apart by wild horses. She is being replaced by one Barbax Gutripper (WR 3). Although this is the usual practice in Hykar for dealing with war-leaders that flee the field, it has not been universally acknowledged as a good thing and Hykari national morale has been reduced as a result. Let us hope that Barbax does better than her predecessor, or dies in the field, which would probably be less painful than the alternative.

The year 989 also sees the addition of Mirish and Seniira to the campaign. Will they fare any better than those already involved?

Autumn 988 - Brother Cedric hits town

Dear Griselda,

Hope this card finds you well, your letters to me appear to have gone missing. Hopefully they will catch up with me before too long.

I did however get a strange letter from Barbax, you remember the nice lady I met last year. Well it appears she has misplaced her husband and, if I’m translating correctly, though I might know where he was. All very strange. I mentioned this to Brother Leelove and he slapped me on the back and smiled.

Anyway, we have just passed through the village of Clegthorpe and were minding our own business, preaching to the locals, when a band of armed men arrived. It looked for a while as if there might be trouble, there were an awful lot of archers. Fortunately, Sir Ashby de Clegthorpe, their leader, was a pious man and once I explained we were on a religious quest, he threw his lot in with us. Obviously I was a little vague on the nature of the quest. I can’t see him stopping with us long once he knows we are after the thing we are after. Maybe we will have to leave him somewhere before he cottons on.

We shall continue to search the countryside of Treyine, until the above not mentioned item is found, and can be returned to it’s rightful place.

Brother Cedric

This was another Talk the Talk encounter. Brother Cedric swept young Ashby off his feet, and so Ashby decided to follow Cedric for the rest of his current adventure. Ashby does not know what he has got himself into though! Mind you, neither does Cedric really.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Autumn 988 - Ragnar's Adventure in a Goblin-Filled Land

Ragnar stood in the ruins of Alwinton. The Goblin horde had torn through here like a hot knife through butter, if one wished to use a tired cliche. Where once the church had stood, there was now a ruin with a blood-spattered altar raised at its centre. Rotting remnants of the villagers that Ragnar had once thought to protect lay around and on that altar. These were the ones that had failed to get away. Fortunately, Ragnar had been able to lead many to safety in Treyine. There they could rebuild their shattered lives. Meanwhile, Ragnar was looking for revenge but all he could find was this one Goblin, who styled himself King Rech. He was not much of a king to look at for he had only three followers, even if he did have a chariot and driver too.

Ragnar stepped forward and approached the Goblin leader. He would speak to the creature first before killing it. King Rech was obviously calculating his chances here and coming up short, so he too drove forward, eying the Mirholmen archers that stood behind Ragnar warily.

"Speak, monster," yelled Ragnar, "Why should I and my warband not kill you where you stand?"
"Your miserable curs are nothing to me. I do not fear you." The Goblin was determined to put a brave face on a poor situation, but the whites around his eyes gave away the fear he really felt. " You should not kill me for I know where those villagers that live have been taken. I shall guide you there and grant you free passage through my lands."
"Very well. You may live. Show me to my friends and we shall have a truce for the time being."

Muttering from behind Ragnar indicated that some members of his group were unhappy about this, and Ragnar was not particularly happy either. An alliance with a Goblin was not really a good thing, but it might well speed up the process of rescuing those that had been under his protection. Then he could escort them to Treyine where they might make new lives for themselves.

This was a Talk the Talk encounter in a village. With the Border Kingdoms being overrun by the Goblins, we decided to have Ragnar returning to his village to see what had happened. Here he encountered a small Goblin warband and succeeding in sweeping the enemy leader off his feet. As a result, the enemy joined him for the adventure, which will be a quest to rescue some of the captured villagers. Ragnar also received an additional advancement roll. Upon rolling for advancement, his Rep went up 1 to 8, while his Social Status went down one to 4. I used the extra advancement roll to try again and it succeeded at increasing it back up to 5. Clearly recruiting Goblins is a social faux pas. Rolling for the other characters, Gunnvora the Winged, Grim Redshirt and Drogo all decreased in Rep, while Ulf and Richard increased their Rep. Ulf, one of the lowliest of my starting characters now has a stellar Rep of 7! Gunnvora, one of the better starting characters, now has a Rep of 3! Clearly Gunnvora, Grim and Drogo are discouraged by the inclusion of a Goblin in the warband, even temporarily.

Full details of the Ragnar's warband may be found on the Wargods of Valhalla wiki.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Showing Spell Effects In Warrior Heroes

I have been meaning to paint up some figures for spell effects in Warrior Heroes, and finally got around to it over the Christmas break. I began with the summoning spells, and plan to add other spells that have physically enduring effects later.

Before you can have spells, you need someone to cast them. Here we see a meddle of wizards (figures by Irregular Miniatures):

Warrior Heroes has a number of summoning spells in it. At the lower levels you can summon hordes of small demons or raise legions of undead (figures for both spells from Irregular Miniatures):
Legions of Night

Death Rattle

If you need a more powerful summoning spell then you can cast a Summon spell, which will bring a minor demon to your service (figures are D&D Miniatures Abyssal Maws):

Or, if you need the big guns, then you can cast a Gate spell although the risks are great and you could find yourself a victim of your own spell if it goes wrong (figure is a Dreamblade Murderous Berserker):

The Mirish Army

The Mirish are an ancient empire. Their troops love brightly coloured silks and provide a very colourful spectacle as they ride past or over you. They rely on their horsemen for their army's strength, but supplement that with elephants and a small levy of infantry.

By far the most common troops in the army are the Clibinarii, heavily armoured cavalry with both lance and a deadly composite shortbow.

To provide extra heavy impact, the richer Mirish warriors are fielded as fully armoured cataphracts. Their charge is one that few can withstand, and many a warrior has fled at the first rumble of that charge.

Chionite horsemen from the outer reaches or Mirish are consummate light cavalry, who harass the enemy and distract their troops, seeking to break up their formations and cause confusion in their ranks.

Sometimes the Mirish generals are fortunate enough to field units of elephants as shock troops. These fearsome beasts are feared by most soldiers and carry a howdah replete with archers and spearmen.

Mirish infantry is universally of poor quality. The levy spearmen carry basket-work shields and spears and are never particularly enthusiastic.

Infantry support is provided by skirmishers with slings and bows.

Mirish heroes and generals never walk. Most prefer horses for transport, but some like the extra impact and fear factor of an elephant mount.

The whole Mirish army.

Mirish will join the campaign in Spring 989. Their starting army will consist of:
4 Clibanarii
2 Cataphracts
1 Chionite Cavalry
2 Elephants
1 Levy
2 Skirmishers

The army is based around the Sassanid Persian army, and I have used Baccus Sassanians to model this army. I hope they do well because I have plenty more Sassanians left to paint and it will provide the impetus I need for that.

The Mountain Giants

In the lands of the non-humans live the Mountain Giants. Mostly they live a solitary existence in their caves in the mountains of north-east Talomir, but occasionally one rises up that is strong enough to unite the giant clans. Such a leader can wreak havoc among the people of the lands where they march. When a leader like this arises, the hill giants and mountain giants band together and seek to form a new nation, wherein they may live in peace.

The Mountains Giants are rightly feared by all. They can throw rocks as if they were artillery and they cause terror in all that approach them. They are also phenomenally thick-skinned so weapons have difficulty even harming them.

The Hill Giants that follow the Mountain Giants are smaller but equally ferocious. They can also throw rocks at their enemies and cause terror in their enemies, as well as having a skin as thick as that of a mountain giant.

The Giant army will appear in the lands of either the Elves, Dwarves, Orcs or Goblins if a 4 is rolled in the Spring turn when rolling to see if a new army enters the campaign.

The picture shows Hildegard the Mighty on the left, leading a band of Hill Giants. This is the Mountain Giants' starting army, should they ever appear. Hildegard is an Essex Miniatures 25mm warrior woman. The Hill Giants are all 15mm Asgard barbarians from