Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Planning an Arab Army for Crescent & Cross

With the upcoming release of Studio Tomahawk's next Saga supplement, I've been inspired to get cracking on some opposing armies for the First Crusade.

I have a nice start to a Norman army, but I have zilch painted for their arab opponents. Entering a new period, I'm a bit scattered in what I'd like to collect: Ben Yusef's Black Guard, Berber tribesmen, Saladin, etc. are all begging me to get them to the paint table. I've decided to go with a starter band of Berber tribesmen and some arab archers from Gripping Beast to serve as some fairly neutral figures that can be used in any muslim army of the early medieval period.

Picking a Paint Scheme

With figures primed and ready to go, I also need to settle on a paint scheme. My knowledge of arab dress is woefully lacking. I get the sense that the muslim armies featured a wide variety of exotic colors and fabrics, but I'm drawn to the idea of a solely monochromatic army of cream and black, with a few figures sporting a bit of vibrant color to mark leaders and elite troops.

I've picked out some examples as reference, but I'm still researching. Do you have any advice on colors for arab armies?

Arab warriors by Artizan in earth tones

Berber spearmen by Gripping Beast in cream

Berber spearmen by Gripping Beast in black

Moorish Black Guard by Gripping Beast. These guys look awesome.

Arab archers in more colorful dress, by Gripping Beast

Friday, April 11, 2014

My Review of Agema Miniatures Republican Roman Legion

Look at this! Agema Miniatures is releasing their latest plastic kit, a box of 28mm Republican Roman hastati, princepes and triarii. I received a pre-release sprue that I've assembled and painted up. Pics and my thoughts after the jump.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

More Conquest Norman Cavalry

Two units of Norman cavalry

Finished up some more plastic Norman cavalry by Conquest. I'm not too particular about the precise number of figures per unit, and managed to stretch two boxes of their horseman into three 10-figure units.

They all received colors and shield patterns to match the unit I completed last summer. With such a large number of horse, I figured they deserved a large banner for the leader of one of the units rather than the smaller plastic flag that comes in the box.

I designed and printed a flag and finished it with some weathering and distressing techniques described in a recent Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy. I've included it here in case you also need a free printable Norman flag.

This should be resized to 2.98 inches x 0.627 inches at 300 dpi in your graphics program of choice

I think I have enough to field a very small Norman force for some test games, but I don't yet have a suitable historic opponent. With Gripping Beast offering plastic Arab warriors soon, I don't expect my Normans to be enemy free for long, but I might need to run them against some orcs or something first just to get them on the table.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Dwarven Forge Complete

I finished painting my 5+ sets of Dwarven Forge dungeon tiles from their first Kickstarter but had resisted laying them out until I'd completed them as motivation.

A hasty layout, but still playable

There's quite a bit here! They fill a good portion of my 4x6 foot table with some extra space for books, dice, and beverages.

I had to throw a few minis in there too to get a sense of scale. I'll have to get back on those Reaper Bones to keep filling the dungeon with creeps.

Descending into the dungeon

Battling goblins

Into the crypts

Confronting a frog demon

Looking forward to running a an adventure for my son, and I've already been talking to my gaming buddies about doing some dungeon crawling. And of course, there's the second Dwarven Forge kickstarter running now with some awesome looking caverns for the deepest depths of the dungeon.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Renendra's new Mud Brick House

I just spotted Model Dad's preview of Renendra's Mud Brick House, which seems to be launching just in time for me. I've been picking up some muslims and crusaders in anticipation of the Crusades expansion for SAGA, and eventually some bigger 1st Crusade games with Hail Caesar.

I thought I'd have to get out the foamcore and exacto blades, but I'd much prefer a simple plastic kit that I can knock out quicker. Model Dad is running a give away for one of the preview kits before their official launch at Salute. Looking forward to getting my hands on one.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

More Dwarven Forge

Dwarven Forge just launched their second kickstarter, this time for natural cavern pieces. I've been ogling the photos of the various new pieces, but I'm holding off on pledging until I get my original set finished. They arrived while we were awaiting our new house to be finished, and I've only managed to get them unpacked and started a week or so ago.

Five sets of Dwarven Forge is pretty daunting, but I've been plugging away and can really see some progress now. With less fiddly details than miniatures, I've found you can cut through huge swaths of unpainted dungeon tiles in only an hour painting session. Looking forward to finishing the tiles and running some games (and ordering some new dungeon tiles once this original set is done!)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Cold Wars 2014

Managed to get up to Cold Wars for a day of gaming. Played two fun scenarios and tried to snap as many pics between as I could. Photos after the jump.
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