Saturday, December 28, 2013

Hyborian Wars!

Hyborian Wars Map, by RSI

This map is from a PBEM game run by Reality Simulations Inc (RSI). I'm not certain if they are still running games, but I found it Here via this site.

Even if they are not still running, the map is of interest as is the zipped "Set up" file for all the 36 "Player Kingdoms". This lists the starting forces and characters, along with their abilities and the composition of  the starting armies. The troop ratings are very generic - ie. Missile ability: POOR, Melee ability: EXCELLENT, Morale: ADEQUATE, etc. The cost to maintain the troops is given in similar fashion with Amazonian Javelin troops having LOW maintenance costs whereas those of the Black Dragons are VERY HIGH.

It is of interest to me for several reasons:

1) I have always enjoyed and admired Tony Bath's Hyboria Campaign as chronicled in "Battle" and later "Military Modelling". I have his book "How to Run a Wargames Campaign" but have never yet run a Hyborian campaign myself.

2) The map could be used for a "Barbarians of Lemuria" campaign.

3) The map has far eastern nations and so the "Garden of Kama" setting might be introduced into the game.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Look Wot I Found....

Found these in the mall yesterday.

I will have to build some sort of howdah, or maybe a throne to go on top of that walking gargoyle contraption/statue.

The skull will be a perfect centerpiece for an evil temple.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Garden of Kama Interpreted...

Way back in February of this year I did a rough outline of the Garden of Kama - I mean, really rough!

Here are those same nations again with the Fortune Deck applied. I rolled 3d6, the first two to determine the card and the third to determine whether it was "reversed" or not. I rolled each heading in order and took the rolls I got - no Fudging! I haven't filled in the interpretations yet but I see some interesting possibilities. 


Past                 4-2-3   Nature – Life Energy
Present           1-5-5   The Defender(R) – Peril
Future             5-1-5   The Satyr(R) – Moderation
Virtue              6-2-3   Trickery – Deceit
Fault                5-6-2   Striking the Dragon’s Tail – Underestimating the Challenge
Fate                 4-5-2   The Phoenix – Rebirth

Interpretation: ???


Past                 2-2-1   The Eagle – The Mind Prevails
Present           5-2-5   The Smith(R) – Evil Effort
Future             1-3-2   The Creator – Nurture
Virtue              3-2-1   The Hermit - Wisdom
Fault                2-3-4   Fearing Shadows(R) – Recognizing Safety
Fate                 6-2-1   Trickery – Deceit

Interpretation: ???


Past                 2-3-6   Fearing Shadows(R) – Recognizing Safety
Present           4-6-6   The Priestess(R) – Impracticality
Future             2-2-4   The Eagle(R) – Thoughtlessness
Virtue             4-4-6   The Peasant(R) – Lack of Vision
Fault                2-1-6   Drowning in Armour(R) – True Prudence
Fate                 5-2-1   The Smith – Productivity

Interpretation: ???


Past                 3-6-5   Law(R) – Treachery
Present           4-5-4   The Phoenix(R) – Destruction
Future             2-6-4   The Fool(R) – Lack of Connection
Virtue              1-6-5   The Dragon(R) – Blind Fury
Fault                4-5-3   The Phoenix – Rebirth
Fate                 4-5-4   The Phoenix(R) – Destruction

Interpretation: ???


Past                 3-3-5   Inspiration(R) – Lack of Imagination
Present           4-5-1   The Phoenix – Rebirth
Future             2-1-4   Drowning in Armour(R) – True Prudence
Virtue              4-5-3   The Phoenix – Rebirth
Fault                6-6-1   Summer – Energy
Fate                 3-5-1   Knowledge – Truth

Interpretation: ???

Easterlings (Panam)

Past                 5-3-6   The Soldier(R) – Blind Obedience
Present           6-5-1   Winter – Maturity
Future             4-5-1   The Phoenix – Rebirth
Virtue             1-2-5   The Cockatrice(R) – Recovery
Fault                2-3-3   Fearing Shadows(R) – Recognizing Safety
Fate                 1-5-3   The Defender – Safety

Interpretation: ???

Koreans (Jong Yu)

Past                 2-3-5   Fearing Shadows(R) – Recognizing Safety
Present           6-1-4   Summer(R) – Exhaustion
Future             5-4-5   Sowing Stones(R) – Ceasing Fruitless Labour
Virtue             2-4-3   Fertility – Growth
Fault                5-2-2   The Smith – Productivity
Fate                 5-1-6   The Satyr(R) – Moderation

Interpretation: ???


Past                 3-2-5   The Hermit(R) – Isolation
Present           4-3-4   Overlooking the Diamond(R) – Recognizing Opportunity
Future             2-2-2   The Eagle – The Mind Prevails
Virtue              6-6-2   The Usurper – At War
Fault                1-4-1   Death – Change
Fate                 4-5-5   The Phoenix(R) – Destruction

Interpretation: ???

Also, I've just noticed that I left one nation out...have to correct that tomorrow!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Using the Everway Fortune Deck with Wargames Campaigns

I collect roleplaying games and one of those I picked up many moons ago was "Everway" by Jonathan Tweet. The cool thing about this game was the "Fortune Deck" a set of 36 cards based - I understand - on the "Major Arcana" of Tarot cards.

The list of cards is shown below. I found this list online and have reproduced it here as I found it. Not sure what the "correspondences" are all  about. I haven't found a use for them yet.

The important bit for me, and the way I have used the deck in the past, all has to do with the card subject or theme and its meaning. I used to use the card deck itself, but when I started thinking about it again I found mine had gone astray. Then today I realized that since there were 36 cards I could easily use dice to get the same results I used to from drawing the cards. Not as pretty, but very functional.

What follows is a system for fleshing out various characteristics in a campaign. Have a look at the card list and the meaning of each card. And also the meaning of the card if "reversed".

The notes explain how it works.

The Everway Fortune Deck

earth, Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
The Cockatrice
earth and water
The Creator
earth, water, the moon
The Defender
air, fire, the sun
The Dragon
Cunning/Blind Fury
earth, air
Drowning in Armor
Protective Measures Turn Dangerous/ True Prudence
air (negative)
The Eagle
The Mind Prevails/Thoughtlessness
Fearing Shadows
Unnecessary Fear/Recognizing Safety
fire (negative)
water and earth
The Fish
The Soul Prevails/Shallowness
The Fool
Freedom/Lack of Connection
the sun
The Griffin
fire and air
The Hermit
Creativity/Lack of Imagination
water and fire
The King
air and earth
The Lion
The Body Prevails/Weakness
earth and fire
Life Energy/Energy Sapped
Overlooking the Diamond
Missing Opportunity/Recognizing Opportunity
water (negative)
The Peasant
Simple Strength/Lack of Vision
The Phoenix
water and fire
The Priestess
Understanding Mysteries/Impracticality
the moon
The Satyr
fire and earth
The Smith
Productivity/Evil Effort
The Soldier
Duty/Blind Obedience
Sowing Stones
Fruitless Labor/Ceasing Fruitless Labour
earth (negative)
New Growth/Stagnation
air, Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
Striking the Dragon's Tail
Underestimating the Challenge/Recognizing the Larger Problem
all four elements
fire, Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
Deceit/Subterfuge Revealed
fire and air
The Unicorn
air and water
Great Effort/Effort Misspent
water, Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
The Usurper
At War/Civil War


1)      The Usurper is my own interpretation for use in the campaign.
2)      D66 – Roll two six sided dice one after the other to determine the card result. Or roll two different coloured dice together, with one die as the “ones” and the other as the “tens”.
3)      Results cannot be duplicated for a given entity. Re-roll duplicate results.
4)      Each result can be either normal or “reversed”, giving an alternate meaning. Roll a third six sided die for each result: 1-3 = Normal 4-6 = Reversed.
6)      The Fortune Deck is used to establish the campaign background in very general terms. 
7)      All significant entities in the campaign should have a card result rolled for each of the following categories: Past, Present, Future, Virtue, Fault, and Fate.
8)      The Past, Present and Future results serve to describe the overall tone for each of those time periods for each entity.
9)      The Virtue and Fault results describe strong characteristics about the entity.
10)  The Fate result describes the end result for the entity in very general terms.
11)  Example:
Kingdom of Olokand
Past: 3-1 = The Griffin, Valour
Present: 4-2, reversed = Nature, Energy Sapped
Future: 2-6 = The Fool, Freedom
Virtue: 5-2 = The Smith, Productivity
Fault: 3-4, reversed = The King, Tyranny
Fate: 6-2 = Trickery, Deceit

Result: The Kingdom of Olokand has long stood as a bulwark against the forces of darkness. Its people are strong, brave and industrious but the long struggle has left the nation spent and the coffers empty. The current ruler is a ruthless tyrant who is squeezing the people dry. In the future a rival within his court will rebel and release the people from his oppression.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Sporewood Expands!

The latest Kickstarter from Acheson Creations finished the other day, and part of the rewards were that spiffy Mushroom Forest shown above. Fourteen pieces for $50 seemed like an OK deal to me so I dived in for four!

Added to the mushrooms I already have from Acheson Creations my Sporewood should cover most of the table! :-)

I also picked up this nifty bridge for dungeon adventurers to fight their way across, or defend against unspeakable evils! IIRC the piece is 19" long.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Basic Khmer Spearmen Commissioned

I've commissioned some basic 28mm Khmer spearmen based upon the illustrations from the "Armies of Angkor" book. I also commissioned female versions to serve as the Amazon factions in the Garden of Kama setting.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Survived Historicon 2013!

One of my prize purchases in the Flea Market (and I had a bunch) was a collection of Wargamer's Digest magazines that I picked up for only $15. These can normally be had as singles for $1 each so figure I got them for about half price (or maybe a little better - haven't done a total count yet.) The set included issue 1 (yay!) but also issue 7 - May 1974.

The main significance of this issue for me, is that it includes the following article by the great EGG himself!

Here we have it - a contemporary description of the dawn of D&D - not one recounted years later. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Fields of Corn and Rye...

Two Lancers de Berg make their way through fields of "corn"(wheat) or rye.

12" x 12" "Artificial Grass" mats found at the local Dollarama (@ $2)

Suitable for Quatre Bras, perhaps?

Friday, April 26, 2013

S is for Scauweg

Three Scauweg, shown with Bronze Age Miniatures Dead Earth figures

The Scauweg are fantasy monsters available from Slap Miniatures:

"The Scauweg is intended to be the antithesis to the heroic and pure stereotype of fantasy beasts such as gryphons, unicorns and the like.

Despite its appearance being reminiscent of a scavenger, scauwegs will hunt their prey providing they are in packs, making use of their razor sharp claws and beaks.

Although intended for a fantasy setting, we think these beasts would make great mutants in a post -apocalyptic setting as well."

They are quite large models, as can be seen here comparing them with a couple of Bronze Age Miniatures' new Dead Earth figures.

They are large enough almost to act as mounts...

Sunday, April 21, 2013

R is for Resolute

 Hal Foster's Prince Valiant (June 19, 1938)



Admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering.


determined - firm - decided - resolved - decisive

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Q is for Quantum...

According to Wikipedia (so it must be true!) a quantum "is the minimum amount of any physical entity involved in an interaction."

Example: this post, as an effort to catch up with my "Blogging A to Z" Challenge. ;-)

Now you understand the meaning of the title of the second Daniel Craig Bond movie: "Quantum of Solace."

P is for Pessimist!

For them that think I might not get back in the "Blogging A to Z" thing...

O is for Optimist!

That is, whoever thought I would be able to keep up with this "Blogging A to Z" stuff!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

M is for Madknight

Troll Mantis Rider.

Madknight Miniatures, that is! Madknight are manufacturers of 28mm figures for Greg Stafford's Glorantha setting. You remember Runequest, right? Well, these are the figures you want!

They have a Kickstarter coming up in May and Andrew has kindly given me permission to preview some of the miniatures it will be featuring:

Agrimori (aka "the Men-and-a-Half") Pikemen.


Hell Sisters, with Chaos Creatures behind.

All painted by Roy Duffy

Sunday, April 14, 2013

L is for Lemuria...

 ...well, Barbarians of Lemuria anyway.

Barbarians of Lemuria is a neat little role-playing game that allows one to play the likes of Conan the Barbarian, Red Sonja, Kull, Throngar, etc. Or Sinbad, for that matter. It is rules-lite (which I like) and the magic system allows for player input without (it seems) much opportunity for abuse. I haven't entirely decided whether to use the setting described in the game or do one of my own. I'm teetering - it's about 60/40 now, in favour of the setting in the rules.

Tweaked, of course. :-)

K is for the Garden of Kama

All work on the Garden seems to have ground to a halt. I am waiting...waiting for resin hulls of the galleys and canoes to send to sculptors; waiting for those with sculptors to get worked on; waiting for Mara to be cast up and mailed to me, waiting for the first figures to be sculpted (they are in the queue), waiting, waiting, waiting... *sigh* ;-)

J is for Jefferies Tubes

I was wracking my brain for a "J" topic and the only thing I could think of was "Jefferies Tubes". As any Star Trek fan should know these are the narrow access tunnels in the starships. As the wiki article mentions, they are named after the designer of the original Enterprise, Matt Jefferies.

I'm an equal opportunity geek, however, so J is also for Jedi Mind Tricks... :-)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I is for Indus Miniatures

Indus Miniatures is a small company producing excellent 28mm figures of the Wars in India during the period 1500-1800. Pictured above are Rajputs (top) and Indian Religious Men (below.) Both images are copyrighted Indus Miniatures and owned by them.

This month is Indus Miniatures 2nd anniversary and to celebrate Ashok is offering 20% off all codes.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

H is for Halle Berry

Is it possible to have too much of Halle Berry?

No, I didn't think so either! ;-)

G is for Gringo 40's

28mm Mayan Warriors, sculpted by Mr. Judd

Gringo 40's is a company that until recently specialized in 40mm figures, covering American and Mexican conflicts such as the Alamo. Recently, however, he has branched out into 28mm figures with a new range of Meso-Americans and their Conquistador foes. On the Meso-American side he has started with some mighty fine Mayans, some of which can be seen above.

These are a "must buy" as far as I am concerned!

The photos are from the Gringo 40's website and all copyrights are owned by him.

Monday, April 8, 2013

F is for Fantastic Worlds

Fantastic Worlds is a miniatures skirmish game of retro-sci/fi adventure. The publisher is Rattrap Productions and it is part of a series of games using the same basic mechanisms. The games are set in different eras allowing one to play Gangster pulp-era games, Weird WW2 or even visit Conan the Barbarian's Hyboria.

A good friend of nibe rubs a retro-sci/fi campaign using these rules. Captain Zap Adams and his fearless crew battle the minions of Drang the Dreadful! Will the Rebellion survive! Tune in next week... ;-)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

E is for Estavia


Soldier King is a game by Frank Chadwick and published by GDW. It is a board game that uses a similar sstem to GDW's excellent "A House Divided" game, but set in a generic Horse and Musket setting rather than American Civil War. It is based loosely on the War of the Austrian Succession and Seven Years War. There are four players, each taking the role of a Elector from Arcadia, Argozia, Hravatska or Bravance, who are vying for control the the overall realm: Estavia.

The illustration above is my reproduction of the map that comes with the board game. Movement is box to box along main roads (red), secondary roads (brown), or rivers (blue.) The river boxes have a line indicating which side of the river the town is on. Those with crenelations are fortresses. The boxes are colour coded to show who owns what at the start.

We have used it once to fight a War of the Estavian Succession campaign that stalled primarily because the rules we were using to fight the battles were not very good. Then my computer crashed and I lost most of my campaign information so we couldn't continue. At the time we were playing a two player campaign: Arcadia and Bravance vs Argozia and Hrvatska. Arcadia had a very British flavour, Bravance was France, Argozia was Prussia and Hrvatska was Austria-Hungary. In our campaign Bravance was reeling under attacks from both Hrvatska and Argozia, but their ally Arcadia was about to invade Argozia with a massive army estimated at about twice her strength (such was the recruiting power of the Arcadian territories!)

I have often though about doing an "Estavia through the ages" sort of thing, setting games in different eras on the same map, or roughly the same map.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

D is for Deelguy


Deelguy is a land to the northeast of the Beklan Empire in Richard Adams novel "Shardik". I don't remember the story enough to say how it figures in the book but it has always been a name that I've liked. Some authors either don't have the imagination or are too lazy to come up with good names. Nowadays when I see a fantasy novel I always check to see if there is a map. If there is I look at the place names - the cities and countries. If they are just rip-offs of older writers, or they look like they are put together with a random syllable generator I generally give the book a pass. (Likewise if it involves time travel or the characters speak as if they grew up down the street.) Eliminate those and there really are not that many fantasy novels out there that are worth a glance.

Richard Adams, on the other hand, did a good job with Shardik. I like the map! :-)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

C is for Chariot (or Cart...)

Fire Chariot...

The image of a fiery cart - sometimes called a chariot - being pulled by a Demon seems to be common in Buddhist art. I've come across several examples, including one that had a demon pushing as well. Unfortunately that example was very small - so small as to be barely visible. I would like to find a better version of it, but these images are the only two I could find. I believe it is also called a "Hell Cart". I'm sure the one saw had Mara standing in the back, but it has been a while so I could be mistaken. 

...or Hell Cart 

A cart inspired by these will be part of the Mara range in the Garden of Kama setting. The Mara themselves have already been sculpted and can be sen here.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

B is for Banner Bearers

Excerpted from the Armies of Angkor, by Michel Jacq-Hergoualc'h 

Khmer banner bearers to be exact. One of the factions from the Garden of Kama setting is largely based upon the medieval Khmer armies as detailed in the book this illustration is taken from: The Armies of Angkor: Military Structure and Weaponry of the Khmers, by Michel Jacq-Hergoualc'h. 

According to this work the armies were accompanied by large numbers of musicians as well as these acrobatic banner bearers who are shown balancing the banners on forehead, chin and - if the illustration is to be believed - lower back! (In this case the illustration is a reproduction of a carving at the palace of Angkor Wat.)

A modern-day variant of flag balancing is still practiced in various areas in SE Asia. 

For the Garden of Kama setting I have commissioned some banner bearers to follow behind the army. At the same time I've been trying my hand at drawing up some banners in Corel Draw...

I've made over 60 designs so far. Each banner is 90mm tall before being put on a pole. The intent is to get the figures sculpted with the banner-base as part of the figure - on the forehead or chin, for example. That will provide a point to drill a support hole with a pin vise to allow the banner to be attached. I've done so many designs because I want each unit to be accompanied by a party of banner bearers, with each banner being different.

In addition to making for a colourful display, there could be a practical benefit to mark casualties (as in Hail Caesar, for example) by removing a banner for each "hit" the unit takes.