Monday, June 16, 2014

Hordes of the Things (HOTT) Undead army.

Hello again,

In the next few posts I will put up pictures of a collection of armies I have had for quite a while that fall into the Fantasy genre.

The genesis of this first army harkens back to my very early days of wargaming. Back in the early nineties I like a lot of young gamers, was drawn to the fantasy games of Warhammer and the Citadel miniatures range. Being brought up on a healthy dose of Tolkein and Dungeons and Dragons I loved the idea of commanding an army of dwarves against orcs, skeletons etc.

However even back then the cost of acquiring a warhammer army was beyond the finances of a poor university student so my grand plans for a warhammer army ended up being a few painted dwarves and a "Skeleton Army" box set. This "army" box set was hardly an army set. It offered around 30 skeleton infantry, half a dozen knights and a chariot rider, not even a third of what I would need for a proper Warhammer Undead army.

Pretty soon I was drawn to historical gaming and all my wargaming efforts went into those pursuits. Somewhere along the way I sold my dwarves and my Skeleton Army box set sat in my cupboard waiting for its time to shine.

That time came when I was introduced to the fantasy ruleset " The Hordes of the Things" or HOTT as it is more commonly referred to.

HOTT based on the very popular DBA (De Bellis Antiquatatis) system enabled me to put together a fantasy army using a lot less miniatures than a warhammer army and the generic nature of the army lists enable me to feature a undead army that suited what "I" thought a undead army should be and not have to strictly follow someone else's interpretation. Finally I had the motivation to pull out my old skeleton army box and get painting. In the end I did quite a lot of modification of the standard miniatures. Using heaps of green stuff I sculpted on chain mail, helmets, rotting clothing etc. to make a truly unique army.

Also I could grab any make of miniature I thought would suit my army. No worries about OOP stuff or Tournament compliant armies (don't get me started on tournaments!).

The highlight of the army, that which I am most proud of, is my zombie elephant and Howdah. I always thought a zombie elephant would look very cool so with left over skeleton bits, a cheap $2 plastic elephant, and liberal amounts of green stuff and imagination my zombie elephant was given life!

Lastly every army needs to have a stronghold or camp. I was able to scratchbuilt an impressive necromancer tower from foam board, card, and paper clay.

Enjoy the pictures!

The army arrayed!

Five bases of dire wolves classed as Beasts (2AP each) in HOTT

The Grim Reaper made from a leftover skeleton cavalry figure and green stuff to make his ragged clothing. He is classed as a Flyer (2AP) in my HOTT army.

Skeleton Archers , again green stuff made the rotting clothes. Classed as Bow (2AP) in HOTT.

My Skeleton General classed as a Hero (4AP). Made from the skeleton chariot, green stuff for horse clothes and cloak and crown. The mummy itself is from the old game Heroquest. I am quite happy how here turned out.

Lots of Hordes! These were the skeleton infantry again with lots of green stuff for clothing and some helmets. I picked up some GW zombies second hand to bolster the ranks of Hordes.
Hordes (1AP) are the cannon fodder of HOTT. They are expendable and can be recycled by spending PIPs during the game to bring them back onto the board if destroyed. They are weak, but can overwhelm an isolated unit. I use my horde to tie up my opponents best troops while I strike on the flanks with my heroes.

My homage to Ray Harryhausen's Jason & The Argonauts skeleton fight scene, with some left over skeletons emerging from the ground. The unit is called a Lurker (1AP) and occupies bad terrain hidden and appears when the enemy enters the terrain feature in a surprise attack. 

Skeleton knights (3AP) Nuff said!

The evil necromancer himself, classed as a Magician (4AP) and sometimes I also make him the general of the army.

Another magician used as an alternative magician or sometimes in tandem to make a powerful magic combo! He originally was to be a magician for a proposed Chaos army which I will get around to one day.

The mighty Zombie Elephant with Howdah and Skeleton crew. Made from a cheap $2 dollar shop toy elephant and some green stuff. He is classed as a Behemoth in HOTT (4AP).

Lastly my greater demon that I class as either a. God (4AP) or Aerial Hero (6AP).
He does seem a bit out of place in a undead army so he will eventually form part of my proposed Chaos army.

And lastly my evil necromancer tower that is my Stronghold for the HOTT army. In HOTT the stronghold is your armies headquarters and of course it is very bad for you if the enemy capture it.

And that's it! It is quite a flexible army which I can vary the composition to try different styles of army. It actually proves to be quite a tough opponent in battle.

Over the coming weeks I will post more of my HOTT armies.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Achtung Schweinehund - Harry Pearson

I am a child of the 70s and Early 80s. I was born in Wales but immigrated to Australia in 1978 but even though I left the UK, we still had a lot of culture similar to the UK. As such the following book was a trip down memory lane for me.

Harry Pearson is a wargamer through and through, in fact by most people's standards he would probably be classed as a fanatic if his descriptions of his collections of armies are anything to go by and some of his friends are even worse! (Or better depending on your own degree of wargaming affliction)

His descriptions of his childhood growing up with commando comics, action man and toy soldiers was very similar to my own and he views on the hobby of wargaming seem to me almost as if he had written my own biography.

If you are of a slightly later vintage than I then you may miss some of the references, otherwise this is a cracking read and should be on the bookshelf of every wargamer.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Little wars part 3

Here are the last few pictures of Little Wars.

Over the past couple of years I have become a bit nostalgic with my wargaming and I have become a fan of the so called "Old School Wargaming" trend. Reliving the golden age of wargaming when battalions were big 30+ and bounce sticks and canister templates abounded on the games table. Yes the rules sets of a Charles Grant, Donald Featherstone etc. were the thing. It is what I started playing with ( or rulesets of a similar vintage). So the following pictures were a real treat for me. It is true that 54mm toy soldiers is more typical of a game that would have been played by HG Wells rather than Grant who used 25-30mm figures but I think it still captures that "Old School" look and feel.

I am so tempted to do a 54mm army but my problem is that the periods that I am interested in doing in 54mm ( Napoleonic and Seven Years War)I am already working on in 28mm. The other issue is the figures are mainly soft plastic. When I started my wargaming I had a bad experience with Esci British Napoleonics and I swore I would never go back to soft plastic. The larger figures may be better for paint chipping but I am not really game to try. Maybe I will do just a couple of figures down the track just for fun.

These last set of pictures cover another favourite period of mine Pirates Arrrrrr!
This terrific display was run by fellow NWA club members (Spot the blue shirts!) Mark "Fly" Goldyn et al.
I love the number of scratchbuilt ships for this game.

Bye for now.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Little Wars 2014 part two

Back again :) trying to keep the momentum going for my blog.

Okay Little Wars is the big wargaming event for the year and deserves another post with lots of pictures of the different games on show. We had a great range of games on show from steampunk goodness with In Her Majesties Name and Dystopian wars, pulp Back of Beyond games, WWWII with Secrets of the Third Reich, X-Wing , Warhammer Fantasy plus plenty of historical games with Napoleonics, French and Indian Wars, World War II and Vietnam and Modern Africa.

So why am I still talking you ask? Bring on the pictures!

Dystopian Wars

In Her Majesties Name

I do like the cobblestone play mats.

The battle of Ulsan - Russo-Japanese war naval


Vietnam - Flames of War

Warhammer fantasy

Back of Beyond Pulp gaming

Secrets of the Third Reich

There was so much going on with this table. Plenty of action organised by fellow NWA'ers James Wright and Brendan Day.

I mean who doesn't love a spider tank?

More to come tomorrow!


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Little Wars 2014!

This weekend was the annual wargame show Little Wars now in its new venue at the Kingston City Hall in Moorabbin. It was a great venue and I hope we are back there again next year.

I was running a public participation game called "The Twenty Minuters", a World War One dogfight game using the free Canvas Eagles rules with 1/72nd scale model planes. The star of the display was the Zeppelin which I scratchbuilt out of foamboard, dowel, balsa and paper card. A local television crew was doing a special on the show and they did a short segment on my game.

Here are some pictures of the event and my display game. Here is the hall before the masses arrive.

Here is my game in full flight (pardon the pun) with the zeppelin.

The Zeppelin game is set in the early war period around 1916. After that the Zeppelin became easy pickings for the faster more heavily armed fighters. The aircraft were british DH2 and Nieuport 11 fighters and the Germans had Fokker EIII and Pfalz EIV defending the Zep.

The Zep was brought crashing down in flames by a DH2 pilot who pumped a couple of long bursts into the envelope and scored particularly well on the damage chits.

I also had plenty of late war aircraft too.

The Red Baron despatching a Sopwith Camel flown by an Australian (note the bommerang symbol on the side). Historically the Australians had lots of fights with the Baron's Jasta 12 squadron and of course the latest theories suggest that the Baron was killed by an Australian machine gunner in the trenches.