Thursday, 12 November 2015

Using Dungeon Saga For Kings of War

A few days ago I posted an unboxing of my Dungeon Saga kickstarter package, with this giant pile of minis from the world of Mantica I couldn't help wonder if I could get some Kings of War units out of all this.

One of the defining features of KoW as opposed to Warhammer is that unit sizes are fixed, usually 10, 20 or 40 for standard infantry, or 3 or 6 for large infantry.  This makes putting together units out of the set slightly trickier than it was when I used my Warhammer Quest minis in my Warhammer armies back in the day, however here are my solutions...

The easiest place to start is with the heroes and bosses, most of which happily serve as characters  for their respective armies.

The four heroes out of the starter set can be used as Kingdoms of Men, wizard, a Kingdoms of men hero, an Elf Master Hunter and a Dwarf King.

These three make excellent heroes for the forces of nature army, as a Salamander Veteran, Naiad Stalker and a Druid.
And these two obviously fit nicely into the Basilean army as a High Paladin and an Abbess.
 These two Bosses from the base game will make an excellent Revenant King and Necromancer.

And finally for the characters we have an Orc Krudger, an Abyssal Champion and an Efreet (who is a minion in dungeon saga, but a character in KoW).

If you got a 'carton B' like me you got three Molochs, which is enough for a regiment, they even come on the right sized (50mm) bases.

You also get three each of zombie trolls and trolls, enough for a regiment of each.  One slight issue here is they also come on 50mm bases whereas in Kings of War they should have 40mm bases.  After much deliberation, including considering rebasing them we've decided just not to worry about it and just let them be used as is.  That wouldn't be OK in a tournament obviously, but for friendly games we don't think it will have enough of effect to be worth worrying about unduly and I'm not the only player in our group who wants to be able to add dungeon saga zombie trolls to their kings of war Undead army.

I've also been able to put together a lower abyssal troop.  The bases on these are also the wrong size for KoW, being 25mm rather than 20mm.  The solution here is a bit different, I'm using a frontage of four instead of five (still 100mm) and keep the depth of two, which does mean a depth of 50mm instead of 40mm, but that's not a real issue for friendly games.  You can pull off the same trick with the skeletons, but it's not worth it for me as I already have loads of skeletons on the right size bases.

This is where things get slightly dodgy, in my package I got three tortured souls, on 25mm bases.  In the KoW list they are large infantry on 40mm bases and come as three for a regiment.  My solution is just to put those three figures on a large base of the right footprint.  Ideally at some point I'd make a scenic base with three holes which I could pop the figs in when I wanted to use them in KoW

This little lot of Abyssals comes to 710pts, which if you add 40pts of magic items it becomes a legal 750pt Abyssal army.  Then consider that you can spend 25% of your points on allies, those two troll units come to 240pts, which added to the Abyssals creates a legal 1000pt army.  It may not be the best army ever but you could definitely have a fun battle with it.  If you have a carton B (base pledge plus the three expansions) you also have a Kings of War army!

Friday, 6 November 2015

Dungeon Saga Kickstarter Package Unboxing

It's here finally, a massive box from Mantic which is the new Dungeon Crawling game Dungeon Saga.  I meant to do a proper unboxing showing you how it all arrived and what exactly each bit contained, but I got a bit excited and had to open it all up!

My package essentially contained the Dwarf Kings Quest boxed game, the five expansions (Return of Valandor, Infernal Crypts, Warlord of Galahir, Tyrant of Halpi and the Adventurers Companion) and a few Kickstarter exclusives.  I'm going to give a quick overview of everything and at times it might sound a bit nit picky, but overall this is an overwhelmingly positive buy for me, the game is great fun and I've got an amazing amount of stuff for my money.

The game comes in these brilliant book boxes, with additional sleaves, we only get two with Kickstarter rather than one per expansion like at retail, but that's the price of getting such a good deal.  All the cards, tiles, tokens and books from the base game and expansions all fit in the two boxes, although I will have to find another home for the minis, could have done with a third box really.

The base game, which initially comes in one of the book boxes, is very well done, you get four classic heroes, some undead minions, four fantastic undead bosses, plus tiles, counters, furniture, dice etc.... It comes across as a good quality product.  We've had a few games and it's a lot of fun as well.  I think Mantic have achieved their aim of getting a new Heroquest on the market.  I hope it goes well for them.  I'm certainly very pleased with it.

lets see what we've got them, starting with the minis of course.  I'm impressed with the quality of the sculpting on these, another step forward for Mantic.  A lot of them came bent, but the hot water/cold water technique worked a treat.  A couple have been stuck onto bases at funny angles, but again it's something I'm confident I can fix.  Finally a lot of the minions are only attached to their bases at one point and work better with a dab of glue at the other foot.  For boardgame figures I'm impressed with these.

These are the four heroes from the base game, riffing off of Heroquest we have a barbarian, a wizard an elf and a dwarf.

The heroes from the expansions, Paladin, Cleric, Gladewalker Druid, Niad Deamonhunter, Salamander and a Halfling thief. 

The bosses from the base game, the Necromancer, a Zombie Troll Shaman (how cool is that), a Banshee and an undead Dwarf King.

This is Valandor and B'eal, plus the Orc and Abyssal boss.

 I also got this awesome Dragon!

The Undead set, I got three of these.

The Abyssal set, which I also got three of.  In one of my packs a lower abyssal was missing a base, which I'll have to ask for a replacement for.

The Orc set, which again I got three of.  I also had a problem with one of my orc packs which was missing a goblin archer.

Here we have the base rulebook and five campaign books, there's a lot of missions here, and this is the meat of the game, five whole different campaigns with different baddies.  These are in full colour, if a little flimsy.

Hero cards overlord panels essential for in game reference.

Lots of card decks too, I've not opened all these up yet, but they seem fine.  I'm going to need to get a whole bunch of card sleeves.

Here are half of all the door and furniture in the package.  These are really well done and with nice touches like the removable book for the lectern.  They really help give the dungeon that essential Heroquest feel.

Between the base game and all the expansions I got a lot of tiles, enough to fill two thirds of one of the boxes, much thicker card than the old dwarf kings hold games and a good selection of different styles for battling different enemies.
The expansions are more of the same with different minis, different missions, and new cards etc.  These are also good quality products and look polished and put together properly, the return of valandor follows directly on from the dwarf kings quest and the other three form totally separate campaigns set against either abyssals, orcs or a dragon.

So far so good, but the adventurers companion is where it goes wrong.  This is where all the advanced rules live.  I hate to say it but this is a bad product, the intention was good, essentially trying to replicate the warhammer quest roleplay book, and it does some of that, with basic levelling, random dungeons, solo/fully co-op play and a small bestiary.  All of this stuff looks pretty basic and undeveloped though.  One think that does look good is the character creation, with lots of races and classes.  It's a lot thinner than was I was expecting given the kickstarter graphic, and it's poorly produced with many errors, see the errata sheet next to it in the picture above, and those are only the errors they've noticed!  Having said all that there is some useful stuff in here and it's not unusable, it's just frustrating, if they had gotten this bit right it would have turned this good game into an excellent one.

These last bits are the kickstarter exclusives.  The dungeon journal, with three attendant grey plastic heroes.  This is a smaller A5 book and not combined with the adventurers compainion as origanlly advertised.  It contains a number of new missions for the exclusive characters and all the old dwarf kings hold missions, what is there looks fine but its missing a lot of promised missions.  I'm not going to go through it all as this chap has done that here much better than I could do.  Some (but by no means all) of the missing missions have been promised later as digital downloads, which whilst not as nice as being in an actual book at least means we'll get them.

Finally we have these absolutely fantastic resin mins; Ravenna the witch, Gunn the dwarf engineer and Keldan the elf fighter.  So so pleased with these as minis, however the witch and engineer were promised as classes in the adventurers companion, but alas seem to have been forgotten.  Still minis this good are never a waste to have.  I'm regretting not ordering the resin legendary heroes now.

In conclusion I've got a mountain of excellent stuff here and a lot of adventuring and painting time ahead of me.  Mantic haven't quite delivered on everything, I eagerly await the additional digital content.  The adventurers companion is a disappointment, but ultimately it's not unusable and is one expansion out of five, and I'm not going to let it ruin my enjoyment of the base game and other four expansions.  Very glad I backed this Kickstarter.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Kings of War Reinforcements

We've been enjoying Kings of War of late, and our gaming group is in the process of repurposing old fantasy minis, and buying new ones, to give ourselves more list building options, I can't remember the last time everyone got this galvanised into painting like this.  I'm no exception and I've a few bits and pieces that I've finished in the last week or so;

Lets start with some actual Kings of War minis, these Forest Shamblers for my Forces of Nature army.  I've got three of these coming with my FoN starter army from Kickstarter later in the year, but experience has taught us that 'large infantry' hordes (units of six) are formidable so I couldn't resist getting another three now. 

These three Merfolk are from Foundry and I am planning to use them as water elementals in my FoN army.  I've had to do a different base style for these figs, as merfolk on nice grassy pastures made no sense, so I've gone with what I hope signifies a sort of swampy ground that follows the merfolk around.  It still looks like they're floating about the water somewhat, but they are being used to represent magical nature spirits....

I've also been working on bringing my Hunters of the Wild upto a full regiment of twenty, partly for tactical reasons, but also because I really love the freedom to paint a few individual minis and yet put them together in this most flexible of unit modelling opportunities.  Here we have an ancient Greek piper, three GW Ungors and another Wood Elf sprite.

These five figures are wood nymphs from Foundry's Greek mythology range and will double up in my collection as Hunters of the Wild.

Here we have the whole formidable regiment of the Hunters of The Wild

This is Ronaldo the bard, one of the Kickstarter exclusives, Mantic haven't released his rules yet, so for now I will use him as an alternative army standard.

And finally here are the first five of ten Basilean sisterhood panther riders I got with the Mantic crazy xmas box last year.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Army Focus - Star Trek Micro Machines

My recent acquisition of a few of the new Star Wars Micro Machines inspired me to dig out my Star Trek Micro machines for this photo-shoot.  This collection is a mix of some that I had as a kid and some more recent ebay purchases, with the intention of playing some wargames with them.  That hasn't happened yet, but it definitely will do one day!

A couple of issues arise from the nature of the figures, the first is scale.  All the Micro Machines are roughly the same size, which of course means they are way out of scale to one another.  At first this bothered me immensely, but  have decided not to worry about it and treat the ships as markers on a larger scale area of space rather than as realistic dog-fight style game.  The second small issues is that some of the figures are silver special editions, which can look a bit silly next to more 'realistically' coloured ships, again I have decided to try and ignore this and maybe use the silver ones to denote command ships.

The core of the collection is this, my Next Generation era Federation fleet.  It also contains older classes of vessels that still featured in the various battle scenes in the Next Generation and Deep Space Nine.  The fleets hitting power is provided by nine Galaxy class, three Ambassador class and one Nebula class ships. This is supported by a Defiant class, two Miranda class, six Excelsior class and three Constellation class ships.  There are also a couple of science vessels, which aren't much use in a fight but could be useful objectives for scenarios,

The Federation of course need someone to fight..... how about seven Borg Cubes!  I think the fleet above might struggle to cope with one or two of these and that it wouldn't be that fun as a game.

More realistic opponents of the Federation is this Klingon fleet.  Whilst not as big as the Federation fleet there is enough here for a good game.  There are three very different ships here, essentially a battleship, a cruiser and a destroyer, but I do wish there was slightly more variety in the classes avaliable.

The Romulans also lack variety having only two ship classes, the mighty Warbird and a scout.  Whilst I only have seven Romulan vessels, Warbirds are very powerful ships and this is definitely enough figures to have a game with against a numerically larger Klingon or Federation fleet.

Both the Ferengi (on the left) and Cardassians only have a single class of ship in my collection, which wouldn't make for a particularly interesting game even if both fleets have just enough ships for a skirmish.  I think the best use of the Cardassians would be to use them in conjunction with the Romulans to represent a fleet at the time of the Tal Shiar and Obsidian Order alliance.

These are Romulan Warbirds and Federation Constitution class ships for the original series era, which can't find their way into the Next Gen era of the fleets above, I''m not really planning on doing anything with them at all.

Here we have a bunch of shuttles, runabouts and other assorted ships.  No use for fighting at large scales, but could potentially be used as scenario pieces.

And finally a few space stations, which of course can potentially be used as static weapon platforms.

That's it for now, I'm not actively adding to this collection at the moment, but I'm aware that it's not complete and if some different ship classes happened to cross my eyes I could well end up buying more.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

From The Painting Table #19

Another collection of my recently completed minis today, lets start with a couple of randoms;

Wargames Foundry have this absolutely fantastic of throwing in a free mini or two with orders and here we have two of my recent freebies from them.  On the left we have an armoured skeleton painted up for use in warhammer quest and/or dungeon saga and on the right we have what I think is supposed to be father Christmas, but I've painted him up for use as a druid in my Forces of Nature army for Kings of War.

A bit of a impulse buy from ebay here.  These are three WW2 flames of war Churchill tanks, converted according to the previous owner into flame throwers for use in the Dieppe raid.  I don't know enough about the history to ascertain the arcuracy, but they're a nice addition to my collection and I got them at a good price.

Onto Deadzone now, starting with this Strider that has been captured by the Plague.  This is the third strider that I've painted and I'm a big fan of them, I've still got a rebel captured one to go at some point as well.

Finally we have a squad of Enforcers, also for Deadzone, based on the hard plastics with additional resin shields and guns.  I've got a lot of the Enforcer plastics and they're very good.  In fact all the Enforcers that I have for Deadzone are actually enough to make a small army, which is quite convenient as there's a Warpath Kickstarter about to start......
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