Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Asoka!

A Bollywood Epic for 'Hordes of the Things'


Asoka
'Asoka' (pronounced throughout the film as 'A-shok') is a 2001 Bollywood epic and tells the story of a 3rd century BC Indian prince, Asoka, who is exiled from his kingdom of Maghada and travels disguised as a simple warrior. Boy meets girl, except that the girl is a princess, Kaurwaki, on the run, and so on and so forth. Anyway, he gets his kingdom back and ends up at war with the princess's kingdom, Kalinga. And so we end up with a big battle; thousands of extras, choreographed sword-fighting and elephants. Lots of elephants.

On to the lists. Both armies are pretty similar, but will be dealt with separately.


Army of Maghada

Stronghold: Indian city gateway
Hero general (Asoka armed with demon sword and whip) @ 4AP
1
Knights (Overconfident horsemen) @ 2AP
4
Shooters (Archers) @ 2AP
2
Hordes (Foot soldiers) @ 1AP
4
Behemoth (Elephants) @ 4AP
1
Alternatives: Lurkers or Water Lurkers (Various stratagems) @ 1AP

Maghada Soldiers
Maghada is Asoka's kingdom and its banner is a golden tiger on a white field (see the picture at the top of this post). The army tends towards red clad warriors with white turbans.

Asoka should be depicted riding a horse and wielding a huge sword reminiscent of Elric's Stormbringer. Indeed it is described as a 'demon sword' and as wanting to taste blood, whether it be that of a friend or foe. The whip appears a couple of times in the film, and is a rather unfeasible object consisting of two long strips of metal attached to a handle. It looks good, but whether it is practical as a weapon is anyone’s guess?

Overconfident Maghada Cavalry
Maghada horsemen are classed as knights because they charge impetuously towards the enemy army. Their overconfidence is their undoing, of course as the enemy have some nasty surprises waiting for them.

Foot soldiers are armed with swords or spear, and carry a small shield. They also charge wildly, so could be warband, but there a thousands of them and, frankly it is obvious in the film that they are there as filler. Three comedy guards who appear throughout the film should be put at the front of the horde element most likely to die. The only foot that have any effect are the archers, so they get some elements of their own.

Maghada elephants appear towards the end of the battle.

The alternatives represent stratagems employed against another kingdom earlier in the film. One of them is straight out of Spartacus; I'll leave you to work out which.


Princess Kaurwaki In Action
Army of Kalinga

Stronghold: Indian city gateway
Rider general (Cunning old general with white beard) @ 2AP
1
Behemoths (Lots of elephants) @ 4AP
2
Riders (Horsemen)
2
Shooters (Archers)
2
Hordes (Foot soldiers and enraged peasants)
6
Alternatives: Sneaker (Assassin) @ 3AP

The Kalingan general
and their flag
Kalinga is the arch enemy of Maghada, and the home of Princess Kaurwaki (who has no idea that the psychotic Asoka is the handsome warrior she loves. Oh, the irony). Their flag is a gold sun on a blue ground, and their soldiers tend towards black clothing with blue turbans.

Their horsemen are more cunning and engage in hit and run, so are classed as riders.

Kalinga makes great use of their elephants, having them turn up on time, so they get more than Maghada. They don't have a hero, so probably need the help as well. They certainly form an impressive battle-line with them, which you couldn't do with one element.

Kalinga Infantry
Again, the archers shine amongst the regular foot, so are an element by themselves. The other foot are hordes, but at least a couple of elements should be peasants armed with farm implements, and led by Princess Kaurwaki herself. Some of the figures can be the sword-armed maiden guard that appear in one scene.

The sneaker represents various attempts throughout the film to assassinate Asoka. Even before the main part of the film starts we are told that eleven attempts have been made on his life, and a number are made during the course of the film. One takes place in the middle of a battle, justifying an on-table sneaker.
Elephants!

Special rule: In order to reflect the source material, every three bounds both players should engage in a lively song and dance routine for five or so minutes. Having done so, return to the mayhem and slaughter. In practice they should only communicate in Hindi or via subtitles.

Figures: The film is set in the 3rd century BC so, as you can guess, figures suitable for that period are no good at all. This is a film for goodness sake, not a history lesson. Go for figures with crescent swords, pajamas and turbans and you should be about right. Asoka wears his hair loose and, oddly enough, the closest figure in 15mm I can think of is the mounted elf general in the Peter Pig army pack. He'd need to be given a big sword, though.
Princess Kaurwaki And Her Maiden Guard

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Coming Soon ...

So which one should I get more excited about ... ?

The movie which is going to have me hauling out all of my Barsoomian armies:



Or the one that's going to have me dragging out my Weird World War II stuff:



But then I suppose they are a month apart - I should have time to do both ;)

(Even from the trailer I can see that they're playing fast and loose with the story in John Carter. But the Green Martians look amazing, the leaping is just as I imagined it these 30 years past, and even the fliers have a certain something. If they get enough things, right I will happily forgive the bits they do wrong.

My wife has already pointed out that Dejah Thoris is wearing too many clothes :) )


Monday, 27 February 2012

The Army Of The White Witch

In my last post is showed pictures of the Jadis element from my White Witch army. In the comments I was asked if I could post pictures of the rest of the army, along with notes on where the figures came from.

I'll start with some notes on where the figures came from.

In 'The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe' there is a list of all of the creatures that make up the White Witch's army. It's long, but the gist of it is that she has a army made up of various Nasties. So, I set out to produce an army containing as many Nasties as I could.

You know when you buy figures thinking 'those will be useful one day'? Well, I had some of those. They were drafted into the White Witch's army.

You know when you buy a pack of eight figures knowing you will only use six for the project you;re working on? Well, the remainder were drafted into the White Witch's army.

You know when you just find figures and have no idea why you bought them? Well, the White Witch found a use for them.

If they were Nasties, they were in.

And here they are:

 Aerial Nasties

From Games Workshop and Magister Militum
 Behemoth Nasties

I think the minotaur is from Asgard, but it's a very old figure indeed. I have no idea who made the war-hedgehog, but I think the Jack O'Lantern is from Ral Partha.
 Beast Nasties

They include Maugrim, who is the Witch's second in command, and who would be a subordinate general if I ever expanded the army to 48AP. The wolves are from Magister militum, whilst the spider and ripper are from Games Workshop.
 Horde Nasties

Where to start? There's stuff from Irregular, Magister Militum, Inquisition Miniatures, Games Workshop, Pendraken and Kallistra in there to my certain knowledge. Feel free to look at the pictures and see is you can spot anything else.


(Click on any picture to make it bigger, even if not better)

And there you have it. The army is:

1 x Magician General (Jadis, Queen Of Narnia) @ 4AP
2 x Beasts (Wolves and Other Creatures) @ 2AP
1 x Flyer (Aerial Nasties) @ 2AP
2 x Behemoth (Big Nasties) @ 4AP
6 x Hordes (Assorted Nasties) @ 1AP

All pictures (c) Kaptain Kobold 2012

Saturday, 25 February 2012

The White Witch

Someone on the HOTT Yahoo Group was asking about the construction and colour of the sleigh for Jadis, the Queen of Narnia in my White Witch HOTT army. So I finally got around to taking a couple of pictures to show it off.



(Click on them to enlarge)

The sleigh is constructed almost entirely from card, with furs and blankets made from PVA-soaked tissue.

The figures are Palaeolithic deer from Steve Barber, a dwarf from Peter Pig and the princess figure from a Disney video promotional toy. 

Both of my Narnian armies are based on 'bowling greens' (albeit that the White Witch gets some residual snow). At some stage I will remodel the terrain on the bases to make it a little more scenic and bring it in line with the style I've been using for the last few years.

Edit: You can see he rest of the army HERE.


Pictures (c) Kaptain Kobold 2012

Friday, 24 February 2012

Free Rules

I have tracked down the files for the free rule sets that were available on my old website, 'Munera Sine Missione' and 'A Hotter Fire', and made them available for download again. In addition, as mentioned in previous posts, you can download a copy of my in development set of WW1 air combat rules, 'Spandau and Lewis'.

Spandau and Lewis - WW1 Air Combat

Munera Sine Missione - Gladiatorial Combat

A Hotter Fire - American Civil War Naval

(Versions are subject to change without notice - I like to fiddle)

You can find more information on the 'Free Stuff' page.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Some Like It Hot(t)

SOME LIKE IT HOT(t)
Adding flamethrowers and other exotica to Hordes of The Things


By Paul Grace.

This article originally appeared in issue 31 of Ragnarok, the Journal for The Society of Fantasy And Science Fiction Wargamers, and was posted on 'The Stronghold' with permission of the author.


When building up a rat army for HOTT, I found that one or two of my figures seemed to defy troop classification. One figure wore a gasmask and carried a globe (containing poison gas presumably). Another pair were operating a flamethrower. I already possessed a Dwarf flamethrower team, which had given me trouble fitting into a HOTT army list, and so I decided that it was time to make the rules fit the figures. To keep disruption to a minimum, I decided to adopt a modular approach creating a new troop type.

The new category needed to represent specialist troops armed with unusual weaponry used at close to short range. It is interesting to note that De Bellis Multitudinis (Phil Barker’s ancient period wargame rules) includes a category for flamethrowers. In DBM the troop type ‘Exceptional Psiloi’ - Ps(X) is defined as: Light troops "armed with incendiaries, corrosives or biologicals such as Greek Fire siphons, hand-hurled naphtha bombs, Chinese fire lances, quick lime or hornets’ nests." They are treated as inferior psiloi (light foot) except being given the same close combat value as artillery. Yes, these were the boys for me - the trouble being that HOTT has no equivalent to Psiloi - inferior, exceptional or otherwise! Using Ps(X) as a rough guide, but giving them a bit more spice, I have added the following HOTT troop category:

Extraordinaires (Ex)

Troop Type: Foot.

Troop definition: Specialist troops armed with incendiary, chemical or explosive short range weapons such as flame throwers, gas globediers, grenade armed assault engineers or even alchemists with a penchant for creating nitro-glycerine! The weapons can have a devastating effect but their instability can cause unnerving misfires. A Paladin has little fear of fire or noxious vapours.

AP value: 3 points.

Basing: 1 - 4 figures per base.

Base size: 60mm x 40mm (25mm scale); 40mm x 30mm (15mm scale).

Movement: 300 paces off road, 400 paces on road

Close combat value: +4 against all.
Combat outcome: Defeated:
Score not doubled: Destroyed by any mounted, else recoil.
Double or greater score: Destroyed.

Successful combat but less than double:
Destroy: Hero, artillery, sneakers, behemoths, riders (in bad going), and knights (in bad going or if they have moved into contact this bound).
Flee the battlefield: Lurkers, Dragons, and Gods.
Flee 600 paces: Horde, warband, beasts, flyers, riders (in good going), knights (in good going or having not moved into contact this bound).
Recoil: Paladin, airboats, clerics, shooters, blade, spear, magicians, extraordinaire.
Stronghold captured.


Successful combat: double or greater score:

All elements destroyed.

Equal score in combat results in a dramatic misfire:
Roll d6 for each element (both friend and foe) in edge or corner contact with the extraordinaire. A roll of 1 is treated as a successful close combat result (but less than double score) against that element by the extraordinaire. The extraordinaire also rolls a d6 for itself, being destroyed on a score of 1 or 2 (‘hoist on its own petard’).

You might wish to consider adding a +1 tactical factor for Ex elements armed with incendiary weapons when fighting against highly combustible opponents such as Ents and Dryads. This must be agreed in advance by both players, making it clear which elements are considered vulnerable.

Well there you have it; an eccentric troop unit that can wreak havoc against the enemy lines and cause almost as much trouble for its friends. Needs careful handling!


(c) Paul Grace 1999


Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Strongholds

One feature of the old Stronghold was a gallery of, well, Strongholds. Every HOTT army has one - the seat of its power and the target of any attacking army. They are often as much fun to design and create as the armies themselves.

 So I thought that, from time to time, I'd feature a selection of the ones that were contributed over the years.

To start I'll post a batch from Rolf Steens. They are a mixture of existing models, with creative additions, and scratch-builds, and show how artistic a Stronghold can be. All of these Strongholds are for 15mm armies:


Demonic Stronghold
Resin gateway for Warzone. Actually the reverse of the Undead Stronghold below.


A scratch built Dwarven Stronghold. The rock was made from pine hide painted in different shades of grey and sand. The Gate is a model railway accessory, the bronze arms above the gateway are plastic shields for 25 mm figures. Dwarf miniatures from the Demonworld range.




This Magician's Tower was a present of a fellow wargamer, who had bought it in a pet shop. It is a fish tank accessory, but suits better on a wargames table. It only needed a base and some refining of the prepainted structures. Its proportions are so weird, that it must be the home of a very powerful magician.


This Undead Gateway is a resin model for Warzone and is actually the reverse of the Demonic Stronghold




This "Holy Shrine" Wood Elf Stronghold is a very nice resin cast by Fantasy Warlord of a stone mound around a "Mother Goddess". It has been refined with some model railway birch trees and a praying girl by Chariot.





All pictures are (c) Rolf Steens

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Maipo In Miniature

San Martin leads the Patriots
to a glorious victory
(c) Kaptain Kobold 2011
Many years ago I wrote a HOTT variant for fighting battles of the South American Wars of Liberation. After a couple of outings it's been sat on my hard disk gathering virtual dust, but back in November of 2011 we dragged it out and gave it another go.

It uses the HOTT mechanisms, but has its own troop types, and uses troop gradings to create variety within and between armies.

On Friday 11th November, 2011, a couple of us refought the Battle of Maipo (5th April 1818) using it. With each element representing 200 men, we had a Royalist army of 24 elements facing a Patriot one of 31 elements. Each army had two commands. The Patriots won, but then they always tend to; his is one of those battles you play twice, swapping sides and comparing final victories to see which player did the best. Unfortunately we only had time to do it once.

The next day I tried a smaller version, scaling the Royalists down to a conventional 12 element army, which gave the Patriots 16 elements. I also switched to the conventional HOTT shooting priorities to see how it affected the game (the variant uses .. a variant of those rules). What I got was a quick game of HOTT, and in well under an hour the Patriots won again, despite losing their general.

The Patriot army is larger, but about 50% of its infantry is Militia. It has a solid strike-force of Elite cavalry, though. The Royalists have no Militia infantry, and have some Elite Peninsular veterans as well, but their cavalry is all Militia. The Patriots also have artillery superiority, although in neither game did that count for much as they tend to be on the attack.

The armies were:


Patriot  - 1 x General, 6 x Militia Infantry, 5 x Regular Infantry, 2 x Elite Cavalry, 1 x Regular Cavalry, 2 x Regular Artillery

Royalist - 1 x General, 7 x Regular Infantry, 2 x Elite Infantry, 2 x Militia Cavalry, 1 x Regular Artillery

You can download the current version of 'Liberated Hordes' here:



I also took pictures, although there's only one of the first game:

Mini and Micro Maipo

The figures are 6mm Napoleonics (mostly) from Irregular Miniatures, based for another set of rules. For HOTT I just use them on a 25mm frontage with a ground scale of 1/2" = 100p. This really makes for a small playing area.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Spandau And Lewis - Playtest

Last night was the regularly scheduled meeting of the Gong Garage Gamers, and we decided to give my 'in development' WW1 air-combat rules 'Spandau and Lewis' another outing, using the Tumbling Dice planes I featured in an earlier post.

The scenario was simple - both sides had three scouts and a pair of two-seaters. They started at opposite ends of the table, with an objective at their opponent's end. The aim was to score points by flying one of both two-seaters over the objective, and getting them home. Points were also scored for shooting down enemy aircraft.

Here are the British:


Three SE5a and two RE8. 

And here are the Germans:


Two Halberstadt CLIIs being escorted by a couple of Albatros DVs and the ubiquitous Fokker Dr1

Crew quality was determined randomly. Both sides had a mix of experienced and inexperienced pilots, but the Germans had one veteran flying an Albatros DV. The table included a scattering of clouds.

The British plan seemed to be to stick together and push down the table as fast as possible. As the Germans I decided to adopt a similar approach, but hung the veteran Albatros back to  cover the objective.

There was an inevitable flurry of activity when the two groups of planes met in the centre of the table:



This initial exchange saw the Fokker Dr1 emerge from a cloud straight into the guns of two SE5s, with fatal results. Otherwise a small amount of damage was inflicted for little loss.

The Germans pushed on to the objective pursued by a couple of SE5a's, whilst the British used the other SE5a to escort the RE8s to their objective. At that point the German veteran pounced, shooting down an RE8:


He then moved on to the other RE8, getting into the perfect tail-shot position:


It looked to be all over for the British ... except that the Albatros failed to score a single hit, whilst the inexperienced observer scored a single hit on the Albatros - killing the pilot. Damn!

The RE8 now continued unmolested to the objective, and we'll not mention it again.

Meanwhile at the other end of the table the Germans were racing for the objective, pursued by the British scouts. The single remaining German scout tried to cover their tails. This bit got so exciting that I forgot to take any pictures ...

The Albatros shot down an over-confident SE5a, but they lost a Halberstadt in return. The other Halberstadt made the objective, but was closely pursued by the remaining Se5a as it turned for home. The Albatros managed to shoot that down as well, but not before it had critically damaged the Halberstadt. The remaining SE5a had now worked its was back across the table and met the Halbertstadt limping home, with inevitable results:


With no two-seaters left, I conceded the game.

The game was good fun, but I had some outrageous bad luck. Losing the Dr1 was careless, it's true, but losing my veteran Albatros pilot to a lucky shot wasn't. Towards the end I lost initiative rolls several times in a row, which gave the British an advantage in tracking down and destroying my two-seaters. Also any benefit I gained from having twin guns on my scouts was lost by their failure to score much in the way of damage.

This was the first time we had tried clouds in 'Spandau and Lewis', and they worked fairly well, although I'd possibly make them smaller next time. I'll try them a couple more times before adding them to the current draft of the rules though.

If you are interested in trying out 'Spandau and Lewis', you can download a copy of the current draft here:


The rules are designed for 1/300th scale planes or smaller, but should adapt for other scales OK if you up the distances. They have minimal bookkeeping, no written movement and no special paraphernalia or card-decks. It is intended that a player run several planes; these are not rules for 'traditional' one-on-one dogfights. I hope that they are both simple and playable.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Download HOTT (Update: You Can't - You Have To Buy It Now)

Version 2.0 of 'Hordes of the Things' is not that easy to get hold of these days. Fortunately WRG have very kindly made it available as a download, with the proviso that you take one copy for personal use only. You can get it, as a PDF, here:

HOTT Version 2.0

UPDATE (06/05/2014) - Link no longer works, since v2.1 of the rules was published.

It is just the rules - the army lists are not included. However some of the lists that were new to the edition can be found here - it's a page from Richard Bodley Scott's personal site which was used as part of the HOTT 1.0 revision process back in 2001:

HOTT 2.0 Proposed Changes And Lists

Finally, there is an unofficial errata for HOTT v2.0 - the changes only apply to army lists:


Page 46
In the Vendhya list alternatives, Behemoths are listed as 3AP. This should be 4AP.

Page 62
The following continues the Munchhausen list:

"himself out of a bog or riding underwater), Beasts (greyhounds) @ 2 AP, Behemoth (the very strong lumberjack) @ 4 AP, Magician (the wind maker) @ 4 AP, Shooter (the sharpshooter) @ 2 AP, Sneaker (the runner) @ 3 AP, Riders (Cossacks) @ 2 AP.

OTTOMAN TURKS
Opponents for von Muenchhausen. Stronghold: Camp.


Blade General (Sultan and bodyguard) @ 2 AP1
Shooters (Janissaries) @ 2 AP4
Riders (Turkish cavalry) @ 2 AP4
Artillery (Turkish cannon) @ 3 AP2

Alternatives: Behemoth (Elephant or mobile siege tower) @ 4 AP."

Update: It has been suggested that I mention the movement change for Shooters and Warband as well. After HOTT 2.0 was published it was felt that Shooters were still over-powered for their 2AP cost, whilst Warband were under-powered. a simple solution was to swap their movement rates - accordingly Shooters now move 200p and Warband move 300p. Note that these changes are not 'official', but seem to be universally accepted and have been used in most major tournaments since about 2004.

More Epic HOTT

Tyranid Exocrine
(c) Kaptain Kobold 2012
I had a trawl around the 'net looking for more stuff on Epic HOTT.

I found this post from the Wargame History blog, which has pictures and lists for a number of 24AP armies. The approach to classifying troops is different to the one I have used, so makes for a useful comparison.

There are two pieces I wrote for Jay's Solo Wargamer blog as well. They both cover Epic HOTT mini campaigns suitable for solo play - one features Orks, the other Space Marines. The latter includes the full rules for running the campaign, and it's a system which adapts well to other genres as well - a couple of months ago I  fiddled with a variant (Dux Bellorum) set in Dark Ages Britain, involving Arthur protecting his lands from marauding Saxons, Picts and Irish.

And that, it has to be said, seems to be it - as far as I can find. If anyone knows of any more sites, links or resources for HOTT using Epic 40K figures, then feel free to post them in the comments, and I'll include them here.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Epic HOTT

Using GW's Epic Figures For 'Hordes Of The Things'

Introduction
In a previous document I outlined how I had set up my Epic figures for use with 'Hordes of the Things' on 60mm frontages. These served me well for many years, but in 2007 I saw some lovely armies using the same figures but based on 40mm frontages and using 15mm ground-scale. Doing the armies this way offered the advantage that elements needed fewer figures, so an Epic collection stretched much further than before. The only downside was that the larger titans wouldn't fit on a 40mm frontage; a small price to pay. Inspired I set about rebasing all of my Epic stuff on 40mm frontages and even created a few new armies.

The design principle remains much the same as before; whilst most troops are armed with ranged weapons, firing happens at fairly close ranges and the game scale is such that base to base contact can represent troops shooting at each other over such a range. Troops equipped for very close-range combat or melee only are assumed to close quickly with their opponents.

The general troop classifications, and number of figures per base are as follows:

TypeExamplesFigures per base
BladesSolid, elite infantry with good armour or high morale, such as Space Marines or Eldar Aspect Warriors. Also most Dreadnoughts.5 figures or 2 dreadnoughts
WarbandFierce, close fighting infantry such as Ork Nobz, Minor Demons or Harlequins5 figures
HordesCheap or relatively ineffective infantry, such as Eldar Guardians, Imperial Guard or Ork Boyz10 figures
LurkersInfiltrators or snipers2-4 figures
KnightsMost tanks, Khorne Juggernauts1 vehicle or 4 Juggernauts
RidersTroops in fast, light vehicles such as bikes, buggies or Land-Speeders, or those riding beasts, such as Rough-Riders or Boarboyz. Also Eldar Falcon grav-tanks.2-3 vehicles or 1 Falcon
BeastsFerocious Chaos creatures, or some rough terrain support vehicles.2- vehicles or figures
ArtilleryLong-ranged semi-static guns or launchers, such as Manticores, Ork Traktor Kannon or Thudd Guns1 vehicle or 2 guns
BehemothsSuper-heavy tanks, Imperial or Eldar knights, Chaos engines, Squat Land-Trains or Ork Battle-Fortresses1 vehicle
MagicianPowerful offensive psykers, such as Eldar Warlocks, Chaos Sorcerors or Tyranid Hive Tyrants1 figure, plus retinue as appropriate
ClericDefensive psykers or inspiring characters, such as Marine Librarians or Chaplains, or Imperial Commissars1 figure plus retinue as appropriate
PaladinPowerful defenders of the Imperial cult, such as Living Saints or Grey Knights1-4 figures plus retinue as appropriate
HeroOther powerful characters, such as Chaos champions or exceptional Marine commanders1 figure plus retinue as appropriate
SneakerAssassins1 figure
AirboatLarge troop landing flying vehicles, such as Thunderhawk gunships. Also Squat airships and Tyranid Harridans.1 model
FliersOther aircraft, such as Thunderbolt fighters and Squat gyrocopters1 aircraft
GodPowerful but capricious entities, such as Chaos Greater Demons and Eldar Avatars1 model

No functional equivalents have been found for Spears, Shooters, Dragons, Water Lurkers or Aerial Heroes, although arguments could be made for including them in some specialist armies.

Space Marines Face
An Ork Onslaught

In order to give each army its own 'character' I have created a core list. These are fixed troops that a 24AP army must have; in most cases this will account for 12AP of the army. The rest of the troops can be chosen from appropriate elements, examples of which are given after each list. Obviously an army can have more of some of the elements on its core list as well if appropriate. For example, a Space Marine army could have more Blades, but an Eldar army can only have one Avatar. The general's element can be chosen from an appropriate type, although in some armies it will be fixed. Note that the core armies may not alway tie in with Games Workshop's 'fluff'.

Obviously there is no need to use the core lists at all; forces can be constructed from whatever troops are available. However there is a danger that given free choice of troops some armies become too flexible given the range of options they are allowed. The core list forces the army into a certain structure from the start.
The core lists can also be used as guidelines for constructing forces larger than 24AP.

The pictures that accompany this post can be found, with many more, on Flickr.

Space Marines
The basis of this army are the Marines themselves; solid, dependable infantry.

6 Blades (Space Marines)

Plus: Blades (Marines of Dreadnoughts); Knights (Land-Raiders); Riders (Bikes or Land-Speeders); Airboat (Thunderhawk); Fliers (Fighters); Hero or Cleric (Character such as Chaplain or Commander); Behemoth (Titan); Warband (Legion of the Damned); Paladin (Grey Knights)

Imperial Guard
An Imperial Guard army is made up of a mass of cheap infantry, backed up by a versatile range of tanks and other vehicles.

6 Hordes (Guardsmen)
3 Knights (Tanks or equivalent)

An Imperial Super-Heavy Tank
 Engages The Tyranids

Plus: Hordes (Guardsmen); Knights (Tanks or Gorgons); Behemoth (Super-Heavy Tank); Artillery (Artillery); Riders (Rough Riders or Bikes); Hero, Paladin or Cleric (Heroic Commissar); Lurkers (Snipers); Beasts (Sentinels); Sneaker (Imperial Assassin); Warband (Ogryns); Blades (Robots)

Sisters of Battle
The Sisters emphasise short-ranged fire-power and religious fanaticism. A Sisters of Battle army should be limited to 24AP; for larger games it should be considered allied to an appropriate Imperial Guard army.
4 Warband (Sisters)
1 Paladin (Living Saint)
Plus: Warband (Sisters); Knights (Tanks); Riders (Bikes); Hero or Cleric (Inquisitor); Paladin (Living Saint)

Orks
Most Ork Clans are based around the Nobz, their lesser followers (Boyz) and a large centre-piece mechanical monster (Behemoth). However Clans that have an obsession with vehicles will centre around fast bikes and buggies to the virtual exclusion of all else.

Basic Clan:
2 Warband (Nobz)
1 Behemoth (Stompa or Battlewagon)
4 Hordes (Boyz)

Evil Sunz or Kult of Speed:
6 Riders (Bikes or Buggies)

Plus: Warband (Nobz); Hordes (Boyz or Gretchin); Blades (Dreadnoughts); Knights (Tanks); Riders (Bikes, Buggies or Boarboyz); Behemoths (Squiggoths, Stompas or Battlewagons); Artillery (Gunz); Airboat (Freebooterz); Warband (Mad Boyz); Magician (Weirdboy Tower)

Eldar
An Eldar force is led by a Warlock and has its Avatar available to summon. The rest of the core force is made up of Guardians and Aspect Warriors.
1 Behemoth (Avatar)
1 Magician General (Warlock)
2 Hordes (Guardians)
1 Blade or Warband (Aspect Warriors)
Plus: Blades or Warband (Aspect Warriors); Riders (Bikes or Falcons); Knights (Heavy Tanks); Behemoth (Knights); Blades (Wraithguard or Dreadnoughts); Warband (Harlequins); Magician (Warlock or Farseer)

Chaos
Chaos vs Chaos:
Slaanesh and Khorne
A Chaos army can be based around one of two cores. The first represents the forces summoned and controlled by a major Chaos leader, who is able to summon a Greater Demon to assist the army. A war-engine of some kind acts as a focus for the army's worship. The second core is a Chaos Space Marine force. Note that either core can draw upon troops in the other for its options.

Demon Force:
1 God (Greater Demon)
1 Magician or Hero (Chaos Champion or Sorceror)
1 Behemoth (War Engine)

Chaos Marines:
4 Blades (Marines)
2 Knights (Land-Raiders)

Plus: Behemoth (War-Engine); Knights (Juggernauts or Land-Raiders); Riders (Beast or Disk Riders); Warband (Bloodletters or Demonettes); Beasts (Chaos Hounds or similar creatures); Hordes (Cultists or Beastmen)

Tyranid
Tyranids Battle Squats
A Tyranid force is controlled by a powerful psychic creature such as a Dominatrix or Hive Tyrant (the latter representing an army detached from the main horde). Endless waves of creatures are represented by the compulsory hordes, which are then supported by larger, more specialised creatures.

1 Magician General (Dominatrix or Hive Tyrant)
8 Hordes (Tyranids, Termagants and Gargoyles)

Plus: Magician (Hive Tyrant); Hordes (Tyranids, Termagants and Gargoyles); Blades (Carnifex or Zoanthropes), Knights (Haruspex or Exocrine); Airboat (Harridan); Lurkers (Lictors); Warband (Genestealers or Hormagaunts); Artillery (Dactylis or Biovore); Behemoth (Trygon)

Squat
A Squat army consists of a stolid Warrior Brotherhood, supported by Guild Bikers. Each army must also choose a 'focus' or 'foci', such as a Land-Train, artillery battery, Overlord airship or a Living Ancestor. The core Squat list consist of 14AP rather than 12.

3 Blades (Warrior Brotherhood)
1 Rider (Guild Bikers)
Any two eligible 3AP elements from: Artillery (Guns), Airboat (Overlord Airship), Cleric (Living Ancestor or Warlord)
OR
1 Behemoth (Land-Train) + 1 Warband (Beserkers)

Plus: Blades (Brotherhood); Warband (Beserkers); Riders (Bikes or Trikes); Knights (Land Raiders); Fliers (Gyrocopters); Behemoth (Land-Train); Airboat (Overlord Airship); Artillery (Guns); Cleric (Living Ancestor or Warlord)

Dark Eldar
As fast raiders, the Dark Eldar emphasise mobility and striking power. Armies should be limited to 24AP.

4 Warband (Warriors)
2 Riders (Jet-Bikes)

Plus: Warband (Warriors, Grotesques or Incubi); Riders (Hellions or Jet-Bikes); Hero (Wytches or powerful Archon/Archite); Beasts (Warp Beasts); Cleric (Haemonculus); Magician (Dark Warlock)

Necrons
Like the Space Marines the core of a Necron force is its infantry.

6 Blades (Necron Warriors)

Plus: Cleric (Powerful Necron Lord); God (C'Tan); Blades (Warriors); Riders (Destroyers); Lurkers (Flayed Ones); Warband (Wraiths); Hordes (Scarabs); Behemoth (Stalker or Monolith)

(All pictures taken by, and copyright, Kaptain Kobold)

Canvas And String

Just to show that I'm not limiting myself to 'Hordes of the Things' here's some pictures of some Tumbling Dice 1/600th scale WW1 aircraft I painted last year. I was prompted to post them by the fact that I'm probably playing with them this coming Friday. You never know - that may mean more pictures.

From Left To Right:
Albatros DV, Halberstadt CLII and Fokker DVII

SE5a

Halberstadt CLII

Albatros DV

Halberstadt CLII (left) and RE8 (right)

RE8
(With some Mantic Elves behind it)
They were fiddly, but fun, to paint. I chose not to use transfers for the markings, so they were time-consuming to do. They look a little ragged close up, but work OK at 'wargames distance'. The most difficult task was coming up with a way of painting the German lozenge camouflage pattern at that scale. I did it by painting the plane in a base colour, then using three other colours to paint a semi-regular, semi-repeating pattern of spots to break it up. Like the markings it looks ragged at close range, but creates the right visual effect at a distance.

(All picture taken by, and copyright, Kaptain Kobold)

The Stronghold Returns?

Once upon a time there was a website called The Stronghold. It was clunky, poorly laid-out and the best and most comprehensive resource for things relating to the 'Hordes Of The Things' fast-play fantasy miniatures rules.

It was my baby.

It ticked along happily for ten years, erratically updated and, it appears, constantly referenced. Then, one fateful September day in 2008, I emigrated from the UK to Australia. And in doing so closed my account with the ISP that hosted The Stronghold. I never really found a new home for the site and, one day, the ISP realised that it was still taking up space on their servers and deleted it.

The Stronghold, as a presence on the web, was gone.

Since then, parts of it have resurfaced. Jay at The Mead Hall hosts many of the original army lists from the site. But most of The Stronghold now lives only on my hard-drive, where only I can see it.

So, I thought, why not set up a blog and make it the new Stronghold? Then, as the mood strikes me, I can post old pieces from the original site in a way that makes them accessible to people again.

That's the plan, anyway.

Of course, what it also allows me to do is dump other wargames-related nonsense here as well.

We'll see. I'm notoriously fickle when it comes to blogs.
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