Sunday, 21 August 2016

Small Scale Warfare or Mastering Warmaster

The Hamilton Road Games Group of London, ON was pretty sparse on Saturday. A number of the "usual suspects" had gone to Hamilton, ON to a games day/Mini-con called Broadsword II. (I might have gone but since I'm on my holiday, I wanted to spend the day at or near home.) Some others had tickets to the CFL game in Hamilton, while others had other things that took up their attention. So, Beth, our son, Rob, and I went to the library with all of our Warmaster figures, rules, terrain, and necessaries. Derek joined us there and another fellow named Matt came and watched.

If you've read my blog before, you know I'm rather sold on GW's Warmaster game. I think it's the best game GW ever produced; of course, it is no longer supported by the company. That might be good since they can't mess with it anymore. (As it's said "Those who stir the pot should have to lick the spoon.") It's a large scale game using small scale figures (10mm) written years ago by Rick Priestly set in the Warhammer world. I feel it is the grandfather to Warlord Games' Black Powder, Pike & Shotte, and Hail Caesar, all of which Priestly had a large hand in. The mechanics are very similar and in that, it probably pioneered the style of gaming used in those more contemporary games. The figures we use are mostly GW's old Warmaster range, with some additions from GW's Battle of Five Armies box set, Pendrakon miniatures, Minifigs, and some other unknown ranges.

(Photos were taken on Beth's camera by Beth, Matt, and myself, and by Beth's phone camera.)

Beth and Rob started first, Beth's Kislevites vs. Orcs fielded by Rob. He usually plays Dwarfs, but he wanted to try the Orcs since he'd never played them and since this was the first time the army would be fielded. He learned that you can't use Dwarfish tactics with Orcs, i.e. large columns of warriors covered by cheap forces out front don't work when you shield Orc warriors with Black Orcs. (He usually sets up two columns of warriors with a line of Troll Slayers in front to soak up missile weapons... since the Troll Slayers actually WANT to die!) It was a tough game, but Beth eventually took out the Orc general and that ended the game.

The Kislevite general - the Tsarina herself  in her bear chariot.
This is scratchbuilt from an Elven chariot and bears from the Kislevite army.
There's also a hero mounted on a bear and the War Wagon.
Winged Lancers ("knights") of the Kislevites with some horse archers in the near foreground.
Orcs! Boar riders, and two units of wolf riders (goblin light cavalry)
The dice show the "starting line" for deployment.
Boar riders and goblin archers on the far left of the army
Goblin wolf riders -- plastic figures from the Battle of Five Armies set
Orc Warriors with their Black Orc screen - a tactic that didn't work.
Wolf riders and an Orc Rock Lobber with a troll doing the heavy lifting.
My daughter calls this the "Rock Lobster" and dances and sings when she talks about it.
Kislevite archers.  They always bring their own snow to the battles.
Black Orcs vs. Winged Lancers. The dice on the table keep track of casualties.
Oops! Wolf Riders mouse-trapped between lancers, War Wagon, and bears.
"Can we get out of here, Ugluck?" "Dunno, Erfer, ye stoopid git!"
And the hero and his bear mount add more hits to the melee.
Because we couldn't fine the Orc giant figure, we used an ugly gargoyle to fill it.
Here he opposes some horse archers.
Again the Orc command was misplaced, so the general and the shaman were represented by Chaos chariots.
They worked.
When Derek arrived, he and I faced off - Dwarfs vs. Empire. We didn't use the "command rules" written in the rules, but we had to roll every turn for special happenings for his Flame Cannon, and my Steam Tank. Rob had to do the same for his giant, who could go nuts and stomp on things uncontrollably... but didn't. (There are fewer photos of this since I was playing the game, thank you very much!)

Dwarf Handgunners volley against one of my Halbredier regiments including a stand of skirmishers.
Empire cannons busily doing their destructive work.
The Empire steam tank -- one of my favourite models.
(I painted the bulk of the figures used. Beth painted the rest.)
Dwarven Gyrocopter -- the Flying Annoyance
An excellent model.
Dwarven Troll Slayers
Two of my Pistolier regiments kept evading them and then running up and shooting at them.
Once again, we couldn't find the Empire general on his Griffin,
so a Dragon Rider from Katie's Elves pinch-hit.
Empire halbrediers and knights have driven back the Dwarven Flame Cannon
which belched nasty fire at these blue knights and took out a stand.
Hmmmm. Now the Flame Cannon is gone.
In the end, after a hard fought battle, Derek took the victory on points at the curfew. (Rob had to go to work.) I wiped out his Troll Slayers, but HE gets the victory points for that... since they WANT to die. He also wiped out two of my crossbow regiments. It was a good game on a crowed field. I didn't take any photos of the board but my side was choked with small forests and a small river cut down the flank by a quarter of the field. Both Derek and I agreed that it was not an easy battle and we will probably do this again.

Smaug goes out for a snack! Take-out Orc!
I just finished this model from the Battle of Fire Armies set and Beth and I wanted to show it off,
It was a very interesting model to paint up and it is a bit hard to balance on a soft surface,
but it is a worthy impression of the "Greatest of all Calamities!"
Smaug  banks in for a better look. He was just for display... this time,
"The part of the Orc Army's Giant was played by Gregory the Gargoyle! Let's give him a hand!"
One never knows what will turn up at the Library.
From Beth's Pokemon Go! viewer,
Rob ignores JigglyPuff as he puts things away.
Please note the bridge over the river; it started life as a holder in a package of Christmas tree lights!
The Winged Lancers prepare to charge.
My Pistoliers finally charged the Troll Slayers and wiped them out. It wasn't easy.
Rob looks over the Chaos army.
The Shape of Things to Come? Who knows?
With Chaos, the accent is on "Things."
Thanks for reading.


  1. If you want to build more Copplestone does 10mm fantasy minis.

    1. Already got some for Beth's "Arthurian-legend" army. They are CHOICE!

  2. One of my all time, absolute favorite games EVER. The best mass battle fantasy game I've ever played. This might have been just the impetus I'll need to finish that fantasy painting project...

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