Saturday, 22 October 2016

Spiel 2016

Last weekend Bettina and me attended the Spiel 2016 convention in Essen. We tried out several games, including "Klask" an interesting table football game made from wood in which the players try to shoot goals using magnets under the table ( This game reminds me on our old wooden made "Wutzball" game that we should play much more often.

"Star Trek Ascendancy" is a nice game with great gaming material.

I was very keen to try out the new "Star Trek Ascendancy" boardgame by Gale Force 9. A very nice guy from GF9 explained us the rules even while commiting that he actually never played the game by himself. The game has some interesting concepts and the gaming material is very good. But unfortunately it costs 100 bucks and for me it seemed to be a little bit overpriced for what you get. As I'm thinking about using all my nice Star Trek Attack Wing ships in a similar custom made boardgame I decided against buying it. In the end I was happy to take the free Star Trek badges that were offered there. Sometimes the small things are the best.

Prodos Games' "Aliens vs. Predator" miniatures are just amazing.

Another of my ongoing planned projects is my miniature project set in the Aliens vs. Predator universe. Prodos games is doing the official game and their are doing a great job with the quality of their miniatures. This year I finally bought the "The Hunt Begins" box set as well as some Facehuggers and Alien Warriors. The details on the miniatures are amazing - much better than for example the Games Workshop minis. To conclude the Alien theme of this years' Spiel I finally bought another geeky t-shirt. This time I went for a Nostromo crew shirt. Like every year it was a great day.

This years' buys have a heavy Alien theme.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Beyond the Pillars of Heracles - The Lands of the Aquarians

In the writings of Pontifex the priest about "The Odyssey of the Aquarians" we find this map which is titled "The Lands of the Aquarians".

A map of "The Lands of the Aquarians".

Pontifex the priest also offers a legend of the symbols he used when drawing the map.

A legend of map symbols used by Pontifex the priest.

Spiel 2015

As September passes by and October is just waiting at the doorstep I'm happily looking forward to the Spiel 2016 in the middle of October. Thinking about this I just realised that I couldn't find the time last year to write a report about the Spiel 2015.

Playing Game of Thrones LCG 2nd Edition with Andi.

Last year I went again with Andi. We tried out the Game of Thrones LCG 2nd Edition which is even better than the already great 1st Edition.

My "pillage" from Spiel 2015.

And we did our usual Shopping tour. I bought the Game of Thrones LCG 2nd Core Set, some Star Trek Attack Wing ships for my collection, the Bolt Action rulebook and a really geeky but great Aliens Weyland-Yutani t-shirt.

Now I'm looking forward to the Spiel 2016...

Just Finished Painting: More Catachan Veterans

I finished another unit of Catachan Jungle Fighter Veterans. Again 10 veterans including 6 regular soldiers, 3 Plasma Gun bearers and 1 Sergeant.

10 more Catachan Veterans.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Just Finished Painting: Catachan Veterans

Another project I'm planning now since many years is an Imperial Guard / Astra Militarum army for Warhammer 40K as I'm a big fan of the 40K background and especially the brave men of the Guard. For many years I was thinking about all those different regiments and which one I would like to field on the tabletop. A force of Vostroyan Firstborn mechanized infantry was my top choice. Then the Valkyrie Assault Carrier came out I was hooked by this great model and the idea of an airborne infantry army. And of course a Vietnam war style airborne Catachan army was the obvious choice reminding on the film Apocalypse Now. I bought some boxes of Catachan infantry and command units, put them into my hobby shelves and forgot them.

A unit of Catachan veterans.

When I tried out the hexless Command & Colours rules with Andi some weeks ago I started thinking about a 40K campaign centering on a Chaos invasion of an Imperial planet. As I already have an Chaos Space Marine army, I was just lacking their Imperial adversaries. So I removed the dust from the Catachan boxes and started  to glue them together.

With three Plasma guns they are specialised in Anti-Marine warfare.

During the last days I painted the first unit: a unit of ten Catachan veterans with three Plasma guns bearers, 6 regular dudes and a sergeant. The main colour I used was Athonian Camoshade. My plan is to paint 20 more of them, give them either Valkyries or Chimera transports accompanied by a Leman Russ tank. Then I can field them as a 750 point Warhammer 40K army or as the backbone of an Imperial Guard army for the Command & Colours campaign.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Beyond the Pillars of Heracles - About the Harpies of the Islands of Aquarius

Aquarians attacked by a flock of harpies.

From the writings of Pontifex the priest about the Harpies of the Islands of Aquarius:

"And those are known as the Harpies of the islands. Half birds, half witch-women. They live on the wild mountain tops of the Islands of Aquarius. And they rule the skies over the islands With their dreadfull chantings they charm both men and animals to descend on them and to feed themselves on their flesh and blood. They represent the baneful. And they also represent the storms and malign winds.

Once in a year Kelaino, the harpy, comes from the far west. Kelaino who once met Aeneus on the Strofades. Then she flies to Aquarius. And she lies with him. This is Aquarius' punishment. The punishment given him by Zeus for his disobedience once in the Bronzen Age of Men.

This is the punishment for the Sons of Aquarius too. As there is one single egg coming from the joining every year. And from this egg another daughter of Kelaino arises every year. Joining their sisters in the skies.

Often men don't see them for many years. But at times they come down from their mountain ranges in great number."

Just Finished Painting: Harpies

Continuing my Ancient Greek Imagi -Nation project I decided to do something different. As my Imagi-Nation compromises not only of historical but also of fantastical beings I decided to paint up a flock of harpies.

A flock of deadly harpies.

Deciding which miniatures to take wasn't easy. I wanted to use a design that fits into classical mythology rather then into a fantasy setting. Finally I found what I was looking for on the gaming blog of Alex, a very nice guy and superb painter I know for many years now dating back to my study times in Münster. For his Conan style Barbarian army he had painted some very nice old school harpies designed by the extraordinary German miniature designer Werner Klocke. You can find Alex' blog entry here:

Designed by Werner Klocke.

I started to look for them on the internet and found out that they are nowadays sold by two different companies: Excalibur Miniatures ( and Ral Partha Europe (

Published by Excalibur Miniatures and Ral Partha Europe.

And funny enough last year when I went to the Bitbox - a small and charming gaming fair in Mülheim an der Ruhr in my home region, the Ruhr valley - I was able to buy the first three of those harpies by Werner Klocke himself. Werner was selling some of his old stuff on this fair. When told him about my plans he was very surprised that somebody was doing research on this old miniature line. I ordered the the other seven online.

Some fantastical beings of the Islands of Aquarius.

When I was visiting the beautiful home village of Bettina last summer I based them on round 25mm bases. During the last weeks I did the paint job using my inking/washing/shading painting method. I plan to field them as an unit of skirmishers with wings for Warhammer Ancient Battles or as some bases of flyers for Hordes of the Things.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Just Finished Painting: Chaos Archers

Another project I'm thinking about for many years now is a regiment of old school plastic Chaos (Barbarian) Archers. They were released with the old "Battle Masters" boardgame. In Germany "Battle Masters" was given the name "Die Claymore Saga" which is a really silly name that doesn't make any sense concerning the background of the Warhammer world.

Plastic Chaos Archers from the old "Battle Masters" boardgame.

I never owned this game and I think that I even never played it once. But I remember that Krüger had a copy of it and that Andi bought his copy many years later on eBay. I always liked those Chaos Archers. And as I'm a big fan of the design style that Games Workshop had back in the 80s and 90s I decided to buy a bunch of them on eBay for a few bucks.

Wearing the typical GW punk hear style of the 80s and 90s.

I based the miniatures on rectangular 25mm Warhammer Fantasy bases and painted them with my beloved inking/washing/shading painting method. They fit in no army I own. But as I really like them, I had to paint them. Who nows if I ever will use them in a game. Perhaps as mercenary archers in an Warhammer Empire army? Or in a generic fantasy skirmish game?

A Regiment of 10 Chaos (Barbarian) Archers.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Just Finished Painting: Chaos Beastmen

After a hobby break for several months due to quitting my old job, starting a new one, my move from Munich to Bonn and the resulting travelling between those cities, I started to paint again some weeks ago. I decided to start with some open projects I am planning for many years now. Starting with a bunch of classical Warhammer Fantasy 4th Edition plastic Chaos Beastmen that I converted for my Warhammer 40.000 Chaos army.

I converted some Warhammer Fantasy 4th Edition Chaos Beastmen.

As I'm a big fan of those classical plastics which date back to the time when I started playing Warhammer, the use of those miniatures is an obvious choice. I cut away the helbards in their right hands and replaced them with left-over Chainswords and Bolt Pistols from my Chaos Space Marine and Khorne Berserker sprues. After that, I painted the miniatures using my inking/washing/shading painting method.

Replacing their helbards with 40K weapons.

I plan to use them either as Chaos Space Marines with close combat gear, as Chaos Cultists or simply as Chaos Beastmen. Additionally I'm thinking about doing ten more including a Champion and two Beastmen with special weapons like Plasma Guns or Flamers.

A unit of ten plastic Chaos Beastmen for Warhammer 40.000.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Hexless Command & Colours Battle Report: Riders of Rohan vs. Dwarves

On Saturday I met Andi for some nice hours of wargaming. We tried a custom variant of Richard Borg's Command & Colours system using 28mm miniatures on a hexless map with normal wargaming terrain and and a selfmade Command Cards Deck. I'm working on this variant since several years but didn't find the time so far to try it. We played two games based mainly on the Memoir'44 rules on a map with randomly placed terrain. Andi fielded his Warhammer Dwarves (4 units of Dwarf warriors, 2 units of Dwarf Shooters, 2 units of Slayers, 1 unit of Longbeards, 1 unit of Dwarf cannons, 1 Dwarf King and 1 Demon Slayer), I fielded my Lord of the Rings Riders of Rohan (4 units of Riders of Rohan, 4 units of Warriors of Rohan, 2 units of Archers of Rohan, Theodred and Erkenbrand). Both games were very close and both times Andi won (by 6:4 and 6:5). We used bases of 10cm x 8cm for the units and single figures to represent life points. Because our rules were based on the Memoir'44 rule system for modern warfare some elements of classical and medieval warfare (like battlelines and batteling back) were missing and should be added when playing next time in a Fantasy/Classical/Medieval setting.
Ready for a hexless variant of Richard Borg's Command & Colours.
The hexless play worked very well. Even without the elegant and stramlined hex-system of the original rules that works totally clear and without any questionable situations, there weren't any bigger problems arising on measuring, movement, line of sight, batteling and fleeing. I the end the gameplay resolved similar to any other tabletop with comparable results in the end. The Command Card Deck I created was based on another idea I had for this variant of the C&C system. Two thirds of the cards were ordinary order cards like in any other of the C&C series. The other third comprises special activation cards marked with 1 to 3 Command Points. Each faction were given distinct orders before the games started that could be activated using those Command Points. Those distinct orders reflected faction specific tactics like "dig in" and defensive actions for the Dwarfs and fast "hit and run" actions for the Riders of Rohan.
We were happy how good the hexless gameplay worked.
Overall I'm totally happy with the hexless play as well as the faction specific orders. Gameplay worked as well as I hoped for and we had a lot of fun with the rules and the game. Both rule variants should also be adaptable for all thinkable settings like Warhammer 40.000 for example.