The Aftermath

Tony F tells the tale of a game that not even Phil could lose … or could he? Photos by Tony and Andy.

As the club is still unable to meet formally, a few of us met for some outdoor gaming in Phil’s back garden to throw a few dice for the first time since lockdown began. The chosen game was Games Workshop’s Middle Earth rules, The scenario, suggested by our host (and provider of tea and ice-creams), took place between the assault on Minas Tirith and the Battle of the Black Gate.

The Battle of Pelennor Fields is over; the armies of Mordor have been vanquished, defeated by the combined intervention of the Grey Company and the Rohirrim, and finally by the death of the Witch King. In the aftermath, the remnants of the Dark Lord’s forces were pursued from the scene by the combined armies of Men; Gondor, Rohan and the various fiefdoms of Dol Amroth, Lossarnach, Llamedon and others.

View from the western edge.

In our scenario, 500 points of Mordor forces (orcs, Uruks and a troll) are retreating through a small hamlet (in the book, the Pelennor is a fertile area of fields and farms, not the barren plain seen in the films). An equal size force from Dol Amroth are in hot pursuit and have begun to encircle the fleeing orcs. The orcs set up 1/3rd of the way from the Western edge, while the Dol Amroth forces deployed into three separate groups; a group of Knights led by Prince Imrahil on the northern edge, a group of Warriors and Men at Arms on foot on the southern edge and a small group of archers provided harassing fire from the west. The evil forces, being greater in number than the Dol Amroth troops, were split into three forces led by Andy (mostly a covering force of archers), Stephen (Uruk Hai and the troll) and Phil (Mordor orcs). Jeremey handled the Dol Amroth warriors, while Tony took the small group of archers and the knights (“you’ve played this before, you should know what to do with them…”). The Mordor forces were required to get 1/3rd of their troops off the table.

The battle naturally split into three combats; the covering force of orc archers spent much of the game exchanging remarkably ineffective bow fire with their Dol Amroth counterparts who slowly advanced on their barricade.

Jeremey’s main force of Dol Amroth warriors closed on Andy’s Mordor orcs in a small fenced-off area, and between them they spent most of the game performing what became known as the ‘Pelennor Two-Step’, inching forwards and backwards for most of the game.

In the centre, Stephen’s crack Uruk Hai seemed to be the ones selected to lead the retreat. They were engaged by a smaller group of warriors including some foot knights, which slowed their progress somewhat.

Andy offered to give some fire support – in the GW Middle Earth rules, only evil figures are permitted to fire into combats (the good side won’t risk hitting their own figures). Andy checked with his fellow orc that this was OK, but it seems that Stephen didn’t read the small print and realise that there was a chance that he could be hit! One dead Uruk later, it was decided that the experiment was was not to be repeated.

In the meantime, the formation dance teams carried on their pas des deux on the southern flank, with much two-ing and fro-ing and “After you, Claude”. It involved lots of jockeying for position with supporting spears and pikes in the second rank, much bluff and bluster and very little blood.

The archers slowly kept up their advance, pushing forward in bounds with three moving and three firing (until one got shot, then the numbers went all to pot).

The Knights meanwhile had sped down the northern flank, hoping to cut off the Uruks as they headed for the table edge – and it worked. Although the orcs tried to disperse, the Knights hit them hard – and with foot figures charged by cavalry being automatically knocked over, even those who survived an attack were delayed by a further turn as they got to their feet again.

Although the troll took a toll of several knights, the Prince himself took a hand and, with the aid of the horn blower (who led a charmed life), made sure that not enough orcs reached safety. By this time the dance had broken up, and the Dol Amroth archers reached their Mordor counterparts and their heavier armour proved decisive.

Phil’s evil minions don’t have a great record in our Middle Earth games. But this one involved retreating, so he should be good at that. But after five hours of hard fought combat, he still found himself on the wrong end of the stick…

A Change of Scenery

Andy tackles some inanimate objects…

Having just finished my Lord of the Rings Dwarves and Fellowship of the Ring collection (around 100 figures) I needed to do something completely different.

I had some scenery pieces in my “to be painted” pile, so out they came.

First up a ruined chapel from Debris of War, (above) which may also serve as the chambers and passages of Moria. These are mounted on some 1″ wide balsa strips for added stability.

Secondly a set of dry-stone walls. The walls are from War World Gaming; at the time I purchased these they didn’t have any corner posts, so I got some from Debris of War. These were mounted on 150mm x 18mm lollipop sticks. I originally stuck them down with a hot glue gun, but that didn’t work. The walls soon came loose, so I had to remove the walls and glue them for a second time with a Bostick style glue. I used some 4ground base render to build up the base around the gate and in a few other patches.

Yorkshire drystone walls

Finally, a set of cake pillars bought at a bring and buy ages ago. I mounted these on some 50mm square Renedra cavalry bases that were surplus to requirements (yes, one is taller than the others).

Pillars of Society

All were painted in the same way: they were given a couple of coats of Halfords grey primer. Where required any missed spots were painted Vallejo London Grey, which is a very close match to the grey primer.

I would normally have the used an AP Dark tone wash, but I had a large surface area to cover and not much of that left, so I made up a black wash by diluting some Matt Black with water, about a 1:9 ratio and used that to wash the chapel, walls and pillars. Finally, I gave them all a drybrush with Light Grey.

The gate in the drystone wall was painted Beige Brown and then washed with Army Painter Soft tone.

The bases were painted a dark brown (USA Olive Drab) and patches of flock added, followed by a matt varnish spray.

Work in Progress Wednesday’s

Each Wednesday club members have taken to sharing progress on the various hobby projects they are working on. This has been a good way for club members to inspire each other, swap tips and build interest for when we are back gaming together.

Rather than keep that all to ourselves we thought we’d show you what we are working on every Wednesday.

First up we have Steve’s new tower, made from a Pringles crisp tube. This was made to provide scenery for various fantasy games, predominately Dragon Rampant.

Picture of model wizards tower
The White Tower of Wykeham Heath. Located in a remote valley in the Welsh marches, no one know who lives there, but he’s referred to as The Ferret…

Steve has also painted up some mages to go with the tower, he’s calling these ‘The College of Mages’ and is hoping to add few more figures from Ral Partha.

Picture of painted wizard miniatures
The Collage of Mages

Next up club Member John L has been increasing his figure count and scenery for the game Zona Alfa.

Here we have three Insurgents and a concrete bunker being suitably distressed and weathered.

Picture of three insurgent miniatures
Three eager Insurgents searching for targets
Picture of concrete bunker model
Work in progress on a concrete bunker

Lastly for this week we have Andy making progress on a set of Wolves and miscellaneous figures. Being a club that plays a vast number of different games Andy is hoping to use these miniatures with a score of games including SAGA, Dux Bellorum, Lion or Dragon Rampant.

Picture of wolf miniatures
Wolves and miscellaneous miniatures next in the painting queue

The Witch and mailed woman are from Belt Fed gaming, as are two of the smaller wolves. The other three smaller wolves (same pose) are Ral Partha.

The Fellowship

Andy completes his Journey through Middle Earth…

I think everyone who plays Lord of the Rings games probably has the fellowship, and I am no exception.

I’ve had these for quite a while, and having finally finished my LotR Dwarves, including Gimli, I thought it was time to paint the rest of them up.

The figures represent the Fellowship after leaving Rivendell; Gandalf has Glamdring, Aragorn has Andúril and Frodo has Sting and the Mithril coat, the latter presumably under his outer clothes.

All paints are Vallejo acrylics unless stated otherwise, and most colours were washed with the appropriate Army Painter tone.

All of the Fellowship were started in the same way. Gaps in the slotabases were filled with 4Ground base render; then a layer of sand & grit glued to the bases with PVA glue. Once dry they were undercoated with Halfords Grey Primer. The bases were painted a dark brown (USA Olive Drab) and dry-brushed London Grey. Faces and hands, and feet for the hobbits, were base coated Brown Sand, then top coated with Medium Flesh and washed with AP flesh tone.

Aragorn

Aragorn’s tunic is Light Brown, his Coat is Flat Green, trousers are Black and boots German Camouflage Black Brown. Belts are Chocolate Brown. The blanket roll over his shoulder is Dark Grey, and on his back are his bow, German Camouflage Medium Brown, quiver, Saddle Brown and another blanket roll, Khaki Grey. His hair is Flat Brown.

Boromir’s overcoat is Black, with Black Grey highlights on raised edges, his robe is Red. The small amount of mail visible is black with a Gunmetal Grey drybrush. His boots and vambraces are German Camouflage Medium Brown, belts German Camouflage Black Brown and hair Light Brown. The Horn of Gondor is Buff with the end Tan Yellow, with silver scroll work. His shield (slung on his back) is Black Red with Gunmetal boss and rim.

Gandalf the Grey has Light Grey tunic and London Grey robes, highlighted Light Grey. Belts are Dark Grey. His hat is Grey Blue. (Definitely a grey theme here). His staff is Beige Brown with an AP Crystal Blue tip. Glamdring is Silver. Hair and beard are Dark Sand.

Legolas

Legolas has a Golden Olive tunic, Light Grey trousers and Pale Greyblue sleeves. Quiver harness and vambraces are German Camouflage Medium Brown, quiver is Flat brown, the latter two lined Saddle Brown. Belts are also Saddle Brown. Boots are German Camouflage Black Brown and bow is Beige Brown. Hair is Dark Sand.

Merry

Merry has Black trousers, a Golden Yellow waistcoat with Bronze buttons and a Deep Green coat. His cloak is London Grey and his hair is Tan Yellow.

Frodo

Frodo has Black trousers, Light Brown waistcoat and Flat Brown coat and hair. His cloak is Luftwaffe Camouflage Green, and belts Chocolate Brown. His pack is Saddle Brown. Sting is painted Silver, with an AP Blue wash, my attempt to represent Sting’s blue glow in the presence of Orcs.

Sam

Samwise has London Grey trousers, with a Deck Tan shirt and a Flat Green coat. His cloak is Black Grey and belts and scabbard Saddle Brown. His hair is German Camouflage Orange Ochre, and on his back he has a pack painted Beige.

Pippin

Pippin also has Back trousers, Beige Brown waistcoat with an AP Crystal Blue jacket and Light Brown Scarf. His haversack is German Camouflage Beige and cloak Flat Red (and I’ve just noticed a little blue on the cloak so that will need touching up). He has Dark Sand Hair.

When I bought the figures off e-bay one of the lots contained a model of Gollum on his rock. So here he is:

Gollum (and his rock)

I started off painting the rock London Grey, with an AP Dark Tone Wash and Light Grey dry-brush. There were a few patches of what looks like moss on the rock, so these were painted with dots of Golden Yellow and Olive Green. Next came his skin; as I wanted him to look paler than the other Hobbits, I used a mixture of Pale Sand and Medium Flesh. Hair was black, eyes white and his loincloth German Camouflage Beige. As he is modelled with a snarling mouth, I painted his tongue Flat Red and teeth Deck Tan. His skin then got a wash of AP Skin tone.

All the figures bases were then flocked, for Gollum I added some flock to some of the flatter sections of the rock, and then tidied up the base edges with more Olive Drab.

Finally, the figures were all varnished with a matt spray.

So that’s the LOTR collection, Fellowship, Dwarves and Goblins completed.

Quiz Answers 02-09-2020

Andy puts us out of our collective miseries with the answers to the last quiz.

1a In Norse mythology Odin has two ravens which fly the earth seeking information for him. What are their names (Norse or English versions accepted)?
• Huginn (Thought) and Muninn (Memory)

1b Odin is also accompanied by two wolves, can you name them?
• Geri and Freki (Meaning the “ravenous” or “greedy” one)

2a In naval terms, what is “The Perisher”?
• The Royal Navy Submarine Command Course (SMCC), previously the Commanding Officers Qualifying Course (COQC).

2b If you fail the Perisher, you get something and there is something you can never do again. One point if you can name either of them?
• A bottle of whisky
• You may never serve again on a Royal Navy submarine in any role.

3a What is the designation of this unusual WW2 Aircraft?


• Blohm & Voss (Bv) 141

3b What is the name or designation of this aircraft, it’s more successful competitor?


• Focke-Wulf Fw 189 Uhu (“Eagle Owl”)

4a In the classic TV series Porridge, Ronnie Barker played the habitual criminal, Norman Stanley Fletcher. But what does a Fletcher traditionally make?
• Arrows (literally: glues the fletches to the arrow shaft)

4b In the series Open All Hours, he played the corner shop keeper, Albert Arkwright. But what does an Arkwright traditionally make?
• Chests

5a Hammer’s Slammers games are fairly popular at the Club, what is the name of the author of the original short stories on which the game is based?
• David Drake

5b What is the nickname given to the Slammer’s Military Police unit?
• White Mice

6a In WW2, what was PQ17?
• An Arctic convoy (in June / July 1942, it was attacked by German forces and lost 2/3 of its merchant ships).

6b Can you name the port that was its intended destination?
• Arkhangelsk (Archangel)

7a In 2006 the club show game was “Day trip to the Malvinas”, based on the Falklands War. Which ship served as the flagship of the Royal Navy Task Group 317.8 sent to liberate the islands?
• H.M.S. Hermes

7b Name the commander of the Task Group at sea?
• Rear-Admiral John Forster “Sandy” Woodward

8a Which regiment of the British Army, now part of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, was known as “Pontius Pilate’s bodyguard”?
• The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment) / the Royal Regiment of Foot

8b Which regiment of the British Army, now part of the King’s Royal Hussars, was known as “The Cherry Pickers”?
• 11th Hussars (Prince Albert’s Own)

9a The Victoria Cross is the highest award for valour in the British armed forces. In which decade of the 19th century was it instituted?
• 1850’s (warrant issued 29 January 1856, backdated to 1854)

9b If you were awarded the Victoria Cross as a result of service in the Royal Navy in the 19th century, what colour ribbon would you wear?
• Dark Blue. It was Red (Crimson) for Army recipients only until the end of WW1.

10a In 1859 there was a confrontation known as the “Pig War” between the United States and which country?
• United Kingdom

10b Where did this confrontation take place?
• The San Juan islands between Vancouver Island and the American mainland.
• The only casualty of this confrontation was the pig!

11a Which WW2 British division used this field sign?

• 11th Armoured Division

11b Can you name this tank, used by this division later in the war?

• Comet

12a In the British Army, which rank wears this insignia?

• Colonel

12b In the Royal Navy, what is the precise rank indicated by this insignia?

• Surgeon Commander (Three yellow bands = Commander, Red stripes = medical branch)

Delving Deepest

Andy’s beard can now be tucked into his belt…

The last of the Dwarf collection are now complete including some odds and ends that won’t make up full Dragon Rampant units.

Originally there were 9 more Archers, but I picked up 3 more from e-bay to round out the Dragon Rampant unit to 12. There were also 6 Warriors with double handed axes, and 17 Rangers; 4 with longbow, 5 with throwing axes and 8 with double handed axes.

The figures were based up in the same way as previous batches. The archers were painted in various shades of red, with boots, leather armour and belts various shades of brown. The axemen were the same, except the tunics were various shades of blue. Armour was painted Gunmetal Grey and washed with AP Dark tone wash.

And the final 3 “E-bay” archers.

Ranger’s tunics were various shades of grey, green and brown; armour in brown and cloaks were painted in greens or greys.

Both Warriors and Rangers skin had a base coat of Brown Sand followed by Medium Flesh Tone and a coat of Flesh Wash. Hair had Soft or Dark tone washes. Bases were then flocked, and the figures varnished with a matt spray varnish.

So, that’s the Dwarves finished. 148 figures, making a 90 point Dragon Rampant army, or around 1800 points in LOTR Strategy Battle Game.