Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Returning from Hotlead - What a Rush!!!

Hotlead is an event that I look forward to every year. Last year I missed it, but this year - I attended and ran two participation games of Frostgrave. I will write about the Frostgrave games later, but suffice it to say, they went well.

Every year, I am impressed with the number of people at Hotlead and the quality of Game Masters. James Manto really manages to attract great talent to the event and this year was no different. Check out these pictures of Hotlead 2017!

RAFM Vietnam Miniatures Game
The Interaction around this table is excellent. These players are totally loving their game of Charlie Company and I can fully understand as I played the same game at the Lords of the North Game Day.

RAFM Vietnman Miniatures Game
Every time I see this table, it is looking better and better. They guys are doing a great job at putting together a visually stunning game with a fun ruleset.

Elsewhere, we had a group of guys playing Bolt Action on a Stalingrad Table.

Love the Trenches. The KEGS guys always put together great tables.

Russians vs Germans in Bolt Action
There are some big buildings here.

Bolt Action at a gaming convention
I bet it would have been a lot of fun to play this game. To be honest, KEGS is the same crew that introduced me to Bolt Action two or three years ago. Since then, I have bought three armies and try to get in one to two Bolt Action games a month.

Aside from games that I am already very familiar with, there were a number of other games going on at the convention. Below are some pictures of those other games. For the most part, I am not sure what rule sets these are, but the games look cool. Please feel free to fill in some details in the comments area of this post.

A Micro Armour Game of Some Sort.

I think this is a winter time Chain of Command game.

The Table in Action.

A game of Hail Caesar. In this one, the Germans must ambush a Roman convoy going down the table. The Germans should get a strong alpha strike, but from there, the advantage would likely turn to the Romans.

A game of I Ain't Been Shot Mum being set up for deployment.

Another great looking table.

The GMs put in a lot of work for Hotlead and it shows. BTW... I love the Ox Carts on this Table!

Looks like there is a fair bit of player engagement going on in this game.

Look at the size of this Game!!!! It is Monstrously Huge!!!
A naval battle with some very tiny ships.

Despite the ships being tiny, check out the details on them.

Okay... I am impressed!!! Look at that Terrain! Amazing!

Another very cool looking game.

While a large portion of the games at Hotlead are Historical, games of other varieties hit the tables too. In a different room, there were GW games being played. I did not get pictures of those games though. Around the main hall, there were plenty of cool games including X-Wing, Road / Kill, A Homebrew Heroes Game, BattleTech, and my own Frostgrave game.

Gaming over the Death Star
A very nice gaming board of X-Wing. It is the death star trench run. The Game Masters used clear plastic strips to allow ships above the trench. Very cool!!!

Six Squared Studios Convention Game
A Heroes Game ran by my friends over at Six Squared Studios.

Hotlead 2017
Another shot of the Heroes game. These guys always do an amazing job on their tables and games.

Hotlead Gaming Convention 2017
Road / Kill. An Awesome game of Vehicular Combat. I did not play this time around, but I did a couple of years ago and loved it! The group I was playing with had a great time and getting to play the game with the designer just adds to the experience.   :)

A Battle Tech Table between games.

My very own Frostgrave table at Hotlead. I ran two sessions at Hotlead and plan to write about those games in more detail later.

Not really related to participation games, but still very cool was a booth ran by a local gaming group looking to recruit players. The group is Ontario Hobbit Adventures and check out their displays. Beautiful!!!

An Ontario Group dedicated to The Hobbit Miniatures Game.

Some Lord of the Rings Action going on here.

This entire display here was hand made with Hirst Arts Molds. It looks great!

I was impressed. What a cool looking booth these guys set up!!!

Overall, I had a fantastic time at this convention. I knew I would though, because I always do. :)

Aside from plenty of awesome participation games, there were a number of vendors at Hotlead, including some of my favorites (J&M Miniatures, Six Squared Studios, RAFM and a buddy selling off his old Flames of War stock). Unfortunately, the event conflicted with Adepticon so my friends from Crucible Crush and Pulp Figures were not on hand this year for Hotlead. Perhaps I will see them again later at a future convention.

There was also a very large bring and buy table. I was looking for boats for use with the "Island" setting Frostgrave slated to come out in the fall. I found some there, but they were not in my budget so I passed them up. Too bad. They were nice.

What I did end up buying was a Paint Bottle Holder by Six Squared Studios, some American Airforces Blisters for Bolt Action from J&M Miniatures and some Gale Force Nine clearance items from my friend Hal's Booth.

Thanks goes out again to James Manto for running this fantastic annual event! Before signing out, I would like to give a quick shout out to The Mad Padre. I saw you at Hotlead, but I was so busy with my gaming table that I was unable to chat.

Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!

Wargame Vault

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Hotlead Frostgrave Warbands - Part 2

In the first part of this two part series, we looked at three Frostgrave Warbands available for use at Hotlead. In today's post, we look at the other three.

The first Warband is the Summoner's Warband. If I were playing (and not as the Nameless One), this is the Warband that I would use. I would suggest it for players with some experience. The Summoner has a Demon starting in the Warband as well as two Javelineers, two treasure hunters, a Marksman, a Templar and a Captain. If I have time to finish it before Hotlead, they will also have a Demonic Servant. This Wizard has signed a pact with a demon and as a result, has tentacles that can be used as whips on nearby enemies.

A straight on look of the Summoner Warband. This army should be good for the experienced player.

A view that better shows the models in the gang. This group uses cheaper troops than some of the other groups, so I wouldn't necessarily suggest it for use for the beginning player. That said, there will be lots of demons around on the battlefield for this convention and this wizard can control them. A new (and powerful) ally could just be a spell away.  :)

The next Warband is that of the Enchanter. Believe it or not, this is the deadliest "attack" wizard at the table. The reason for this is that he has boosted the casting ability of elemental bolt so much that it is easy to set off a +8 shooting attack. The other players will have to watch out for him! His minions are fairly powerful too. I envision this party being used by a new to slightly new player.

This Wizard means business. He is an Enchanter, but he has spent a lot of time perfecting the deadliest attack spell in the game.

This warband has a good mix of troops. There are three constructs (all massively upgraded), a Knight, A Packmule with healing potions, an Assassin and a War Hound. Every Dwarf here has a magical weapon. This is a powerful warband, but there is a lot to track.
The final Warband is likely the most powerful (based on scenario and the prevalence of Demons). I recommend this group for beginners. It consists of a Thaumaturge and his Apprentice, two Treasure Hunters, a Templar, three Knights and an Apothecary. There are no ranged weapons in this group, but its access to Banish (to defeat Demons), quality Troops and Healing makes it a force to be reckoned with.   

The Thaumaturge and his Warband.
There are a lot of quality troops here to help this Wizard out. I am expecting him to be one of the easiest to play despite not having access to much in terms of ranged attacks.
Hopefully my readers have enjoyed this look at six separate Frostgrave Warbands. If you are at Hotlead (2017) and are interested in playing, make sure to look for my game on the 25th of March and sign up for my 2pm or 7pm. It should be a lot of fun! All of the Wizards will be level 20.

Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Frostgrave Demons - Chilopendra and Tiszirain (Showcase)

Nick Eyre of North Star Military Figures sent Must Contain Minis four official Chilopendra Miniatures (from Frostgrave) and a Centipede Demon for the upcoming Hotlead Convention. These pieces will be act as my "boss" figures on my Frostgrave table at the convention.

Jeremy Cada (of Forbes Hobbies) helped me out by doing some commission painting. When I got the models back, he let me know that they still need to be based up to match my other models; however, they may stay as they are because I am facing a time crunch with the event. I have so much left to get ready for the table.

Personally, I think they look fantastic - and Jeremy painted these up quickly. They are going to make great enemies for the players at Hotlead. The players may be able to stop Tiszirain from being summoned, but I hope he hits the table.

In the front row are four Chilopendra Demons and in the back, a Centipede Demon that I will use as Tiszirain. All of these Demons are found in Forgotten Pacts.

These were Painted by Jeremy Cada of Forbes Hobbies. Thanks for painting these up - they look great!!!

There is no Official Tiszirain Model yet, but this Centipede Demon is going to make a great Proxy figure. The model itself came as four pieces and needed a little bit of "Green Stuff" to assemble. One also has to be careful with the centipede claws as I had trouble with them being a little brittle. That said, the model looks great when it is built and painted up. Hopefully the players find him very intimidating. :)

Centipede Demon
There was some flashing around the centipede claws that Jeremy cleaned up but this is a great looking model. Be careful with the claws as I had to do some repair work and lost one of them before Jeremy got the model.

Tiszirain Demon for Frostgrave
The miniature itself looks great. Check out the back of this figure. Nice Job Jeremy!!!

These miniatures look great and I can't wait to get them on the table. I would like to thank again Jeremy Cada for painting them up and Nick Eyre from North Star Military Figures for sending them.

Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!

Monday, 20 March 2017

Hotlead Frostgrave Warbands - Part 1

Today's post is a quick look at 3 of the 6 Frostgrave Warbands I am hosting for Hotlead. If you are interested in trying the game out, be sure to come out to Hotlead and sign on the signup sheets for my games. I run games at 2pm and 7pm on the 25th of March (2017).

For those wondering, all 6 Wizards are at Level 20. I wanted to show participants what it is like to play higher powered Wizards.

The Warband below is made up entirely of RAFM Miniatures. This group consists of an Elementalist (the Dwarf with a Flame Thrower), his apprentice (the Dwarf with a sword), six Marksmen and one Crossbowman. I would recommend this group for beginners.

Above is a picture of the Elementalist Gang in the Frostgrave game that I am running. The whole warband specializes in standing and shooting and even the Wizard has a shooting skill of +5 (for his crossbow). Most of his easy to cast spells involve dealing damage to many close targets.

This means that the basic strategy with the above warband would be to stand and shoot with the marksmen while sending in the Wizard, Apprentice and Crossbowman to engage enemies and pick up treasure. The Wizard also knows the Leap spell so he can get a shooter or two into some really choice locations early in the game.

The next Warband is one that my readers will recognize. It is the Nameless One (a necromancer) with his apprentice. He has an Apothecary, 2 Rangers, a Crossbowman, a Skeleton, a Captain, and three Large Constructs. The Nameless One knows most of the Necromancer spells and is a master at casting Bone Dart. Most of the figures in this Warband are by North Star Military Figures with one made by Reaper and the three constructs being made by an undisclosed manufacturer. :)

This Frostgrave group would be best played by someone with some experience in Frostgrave or by someone with a good grasp of "combined arms" tactics. The soldiers in this group are fairly specialized and could easily be mixed into 3 tactical subgroups.

Above is the Nameless One along with his half-undead Warband. Opponents should find him very intimidating with three large constructs, a well armoured tank of a Captain and some speedy rangers.

One strategy would be to have the Captain activating with the Large Constructs and moving in a hunting group together. All three Constructs and the Captain share the same movement speed and the highest armour and fight values in the group.

The final group for today is the one from my last post. That is the Beastcrafter Warband. Now this group is one that I would suggest for either "experts" in Frostgrave or players that like a challenge. This group's minions has the lowest fight value scores of any Warband in the game. They also have the highest speed.

This means that the Beastcrafter player should take advantage of their Hyena pack to hunt down lone enemies, surround them and use the +2 fight bonus (per outnumbering model) to take down their enemies. If I get them painted in time, I will add two thugs to this group as well.

Above is the Beastcrafter Warband. With no real attack spells, this Wizard may come across as one of the weakest. That said, he has the best casting value on Fog (a great defensive spell) and many spells to buff the members of his warband. He also comes with a +5 Attack score and the ability to fight just as well unarmed as he can with a weapon.

Most of the other Wizards do not boast with such a high fight score. That said, his warband has the lowest fight values at the table. This player will want to either attack in packs or cast lots of buffing spells before getting into a fight. 

In the next 5 nights, I have a lot to do. I still have two pieces of scenery to paint, as well as 10 more miniatures to paint. For me, that is a lot of work! Hopefully I will get it all done in time for Hotlead!

Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Combining Conan with Frostgrave: Painting Up Conan The Boardgame (by Monolith)

A few months ago, Asmodee sent Must Contain Minis a Review Copy of Conan the Board Game. This is a very enjoyable game and for those that want to read earlier posts about it, check out my Initial Impressions / Unboxing post and my first Conan Battle Report.

Now that I am getting ready to run Frostgrave at a local convention, I want to use some of the Minis from Conan as a Warband.

Most recently, I posted about priming Conan models up at my favourite FLGS. Today's post is a follow up to that post. Below is my progress on some of those minis.

Above: Conan faces-off against an Ape in a Cape. My money is on Conan winning this fight.

Above is a fun picture of Conan squaring off against an Ape in a Cape. Aside from using these mini in Conan (the Board Game), I plan to use them in a game of Frostgrave at a local Convention. Part of my goal at the Convention is to show people that Frostgrave allows you to play with whatever minis you own (including minis from board games).

As such, I painted up a selection of the minis as a Beastcrafter Warband and NPC Barbarians.

This is the Beastcrafter Warband that I plan to have one player use at Hotlead.

The Hyenas provide a fast attack pack for the gang. They will count as "Wolves" for the purposes of statistics. Considering that I painted the Hyenas almost entirely with Craft Store paint, I am very pleased with how well they look.

A look at the front of a Hyena.

Each Hyena has a different number of spots on their sides to make them individually identifiable.

This is a Demon. In my Frostgrave Game, he will count as a "Bear" mutated to be able to carry treasure off the board.

Lots of muscles on this figure. The other warbands had best watch out.

This guy will count as the Beastcrafter's apprentice.

He holds a bloody human heart in his left hand. I wonder if the other players will target him because of that fact.

This Ape in a Cape will be my Beastcrafter Wizard at Hotlead. He has claws, is a melee monster and can fight well unarmed in combat. I do apologize that the face is a little out of focus, but the picture does show some of the nice definition across the rest of the miniature.

A look at the Ape's Cape.

Well... that concludes the look at the Beastcrafter Warband for my Frostgrave game at Hotlead. I may add a couple of Thugs to the group depending on how much of my GM prep work I get done.

Below are images of two of the models from Conan that I plan to use as Barbarians.

This model turned out very nice.

The details in the clothing pretty much paint themselves with a wash.

A nice model that paints up quickly.

The Iconic Conan Himself. A great model with lots of crisp details. The details in the face are a little soft in comparison to the rest of the model, but look at how well it turned out with a wash and some highlighting.

The details on the back of the miniature are great too. For Board Game models, I am impressed. These are nice. They take primer without issues and paint up well.

I do plan to do another Battle Report and a Full Review of the Conan Board Game in the future. For those that have read my previous work about Conan, you can probably guess what I am going to say in the review - but I will quickly sum it up below.

Conan The Board Game has fantastic mechanics, great looking miniatures and is a blast to play. The models fit in perfectly with 32mm figures and could be used alongside 28mm figures. For those that buy games for the miniatures, you could easily reuse these models elsewhere aside from Conan. Some people complain that the game is Sexist in its depiction of Women given today's climate of cultural sensitivities. If you know someone that takes that viewpoint, I don't think that you can argue that they are wrong. If you can look past that fact, Conan is a fantastic game.

Swinging back to Frostgrave, there are more than enough figures in the Conan Boardgame to make a few Warbands. Like the Hyenas though, many of those models will have the same pose so one would have to figure out how to differentiate the miniatures from each other. For those that want to see how they measure up against 28mm and 32mm figures, I did size comparison pictures in my Unboxing article.

Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!
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