Thursday, 26 December 2013

Creating A King

As regular readers will know The Army of The Nutcracker triumphed yesterday. But what that army really needs is its 'historical' opponent. This is, of course, The Army of the Mouse King. Armed mice, yes, are incredibly difficult to get hold of so I felt a more holistic rodenty approach was needed. At first I looked at getting some second-hand Skaven but they were ridiculously expensive. So I used the default for all left-field figures: Irregular Miniatures. IM do, of course make perfectly normal and very good wargames figures. But. if you're after something a little more...out there then they are the go-to-guys.

I planned out what I would need for the army using The Nutcracker lists on Kaptain Kobold's blog:

1 x Behemoth General (1 big rodent plus a couple of bodyguards)
10 x Warband (30 smaller blade-armed rodents)

As I said earlier getting hold of armed mice is very difficult so instead I used an IM giant rat (it might actually be an upright wolf but it looks the part) and 30 of their 15mm Ratman Swordsman (FRAT1).

I did the usual file thing on the figure. Got his base nice and flat and cleaned up mold lines. IM figures are often flash free, which is nice.

Looking at pictures of The Mouse King he is usually dressed in a coat or cloak with a belt and scabbard for his sword plus a crown. I decided on a cloak rather than a coat because I felt it would make the figure look bigger and I could put some dramatic billows in it. I made the cloak out of green & yellow putty rolled together. Then flattened into an approximate cloak shape before fitting to the figure. I then used a cocktail stick to work into shape around his neck and to create the heroic billows and folds. I made his sword belt out the same putty.

Next came his crown. I'd already tried a small piece of balsa but it ended up looking like a badly fitting fez. So, once again, the putty came to the rescue. A small blob on his head was worked, pushed and teased into a crowny shape. The king's crown is adorned with gold mouse heads which I had no intention of even trying to reproduce. Instead I cut down four dress-maker's pins and pushed them into the hardening putty. I used my trusty cocktail stick to close up the putty around the pin shafts.

Finally his sword. Once again a cut down dress-maker's pin was glued onto his left-paw and a hand-guard made out of a small piece of putty. I then put the figure on top of a radiator to help the putty harden off.

Here are some pictures of the re-modelled Mouse King (without sword and belt):



All the best!



HotT Battle Report: The Peasants' Revolt v The Nutcracker

Christmas time HotT with two out of my three armies. I am working on matched pairs but more of that later. Also apologies for the shaky nature of some pix; I put this down to too much Christmas cheer.

Here we see the two generals, both Heroes, dicing for ends:


I used Kaptain Kobold's random terrain generation suggestions. Worked pretty well, thanks, Kap! 2 woods, 1 swamp, 1 hill & 1 heath.


The Armies Arrayed
The Nutcracker (NC) from LtoR: 3 x Blades, Sneaker, Stronghold, Artillery, Hero General, 
2 x Shooters, 2 x Spears.

The Peasants' Revolt (PR) RtoL: Flyer, 8 x Hordes, Hero General, Shooter, Horde, Shooter, Paladin, (Off-Table is the PR Lurker who will deploy when a NC unit enters rough going).

The defenders go first with a roll of 2 PIPs. Realising the Sneaker would be useful against the PR General so began moving from one flank to the other. The other PIP saw one of the blades move into line. The NC Sneaker finished in bad going and, after rolling for PIPs, the PR Lurker sprung at her. You can guess from the pictured dice rolls what happened. 1-0 to NC


NC PIPs were enough to deploy the Lurker, advance the Flier to contact with the NC Blades and start the huge mass in the centre moving forward. The central forces were hampered by the woods and swamp to their front.

The right flank PR Flier decided to zoom ahead of the main battle line on a death or glory charge. He's got big wings, a fiery sword hand and a big red thing hanging off his belt. what could possibly go wrong? Pic caught the moment he slammed into NC Blades.

OOPS! 
(it was 2, honest, guv)
Even at this stage NC Blades were proving to be nails, hard as.


On the PR left flank the Paladin had the same idea as the Flier. And charged the NC Spears to his front. Again, what could go wrong? He's a PALADIN! And sure enough he forced the NC Spears to recoil perilously close to oblivion. So far so good, at last one of the PR 'Special Forces' was doing its job. 


The tragedy for the Paladin was as simple as it was obvious. He was too far in advance of supporting troops who were only just getting clear of the woodland as can be seen in this picture. Hit in front by a column of NC Spears and assaulted from uphill by a unit of NC Shooters. There could be only one winner. And it wasn't the PR Paladin. 5-0 to NC.

Seeing their Paladin go down in a hail of bullets and forest of spearpoints seemed to encourage The Great Mass of the PR Army. Their PIP die rolls improved considerably; for a short time anyway.


The PR Hordes came into range of the NC Artillery. Which fired. In scenes reminiscent of Waterloo.....La Horde récule! Two hordes in fact, forced to recoil and tearing a huge gap in the PR line.

                                     
The Flier, chastened by his earlier brush with disaster returned to the main body and advanced in line with it. Now, some will say he should have flown off and avoided combat until he could attack The Stronghold. and you'd be right - Christmas cheer again. Anyways he didn't he came back into contact with the NC Blades at the same moment a large group of PR Hordes hit the rest of the NC Blades. They came on in the same old style and it was a massacre. The Flier got so bounced he fled 600p off the field and one of the Hordes also came to grief. 6-0 to NC.

Here's a shot of the battlefield at the end of Move 6. The measuring stick lies on the exact path the flier took off the table. The alternative was to end up in the wood, also a no-win. 8-0 to NC.


With his plan in ruins the PR Hero General used his PIPs to launch a massive attack on the NC hill. A breakthrough here would either give him a run at The Stronghold or kill the NC Hero General and win the game. No blinking now.


But what's this? No, not the massacre of another Horde. Look at that Horde group to the right of the NC Blades. They've only gone and slipped through the line on the direct, and undefended, route to The Stronghold. The Blades on that flank had done a fantastic job but couldn't be everywhere. if only that Sneaker hadn't buggered off.....9-0 to NC

In an outbreak of tactical nous and heroic self-sacrifice the remaining pair of Hordes on that flank steel themselves to assault the all-conquering NC Blades. While their Horde brethren bust through the line. Could the battle be lost even as it is won? Well........

Here we see the PR Hero General's division of Himself, 1 x Horde and 2 x Shooters attacking uphill against the NC Shooters.

A poor die roll saw the Horde shot down. A better throw allowed the PR General to force their Shooters to recoil. Good but it wasn't the breakthrough that was required nor the destruction of enemy units either. Endgame 10-0 to NC

More rubbish PIPs for the PR Army - 1PIP! The Hordes' thrust for The Stronghold was stymied. Instead with the 1 PIP available the PR Hero General moved forward to engage the Shooters and force a breakthrough. A wiser move may have been to side-step in front of the NC Hero General, hindsight etc. The Shooters held on, just. The PIPs for the NC Army were better and their Hero General was able to swing through 90 degrees to flank his opposite number. The dice rolled and the PR Hero General went down riddled with bullets and sword thrusts. 14-0 to NC and game.

Happy Christmas!