Here are the recruiting results from Turn-1 of the War of the Jade Zodiac campaign:
TURKOPOLONIA: The realm of Turkopolonia warmly welcomes the following new recruits into King Rama Rumm’s army:
Recruited from TE KUITI:
Veteran / Heavy Archers = Te Kuiti Desert Rangers
Elite / Heavy Archers = The Howling Wind
Priest = Mustapha Mazet
Recruited from SAHATI PALACE:
Green / Horde = Dust Legion Alpha
Regular / Artillery = The Corpse-Maker
Lord = Rowena the Warrior Queen
May they fight valiantly to honor their venerable King and to rid the world of demonic & scaly enemies once and for all!
BELDARTHIA: The Lords of Beldarthia call out to its denizens to make ready for war. Answering the call to arms are:
1 unit of VETERAN / HEAVY INFANTRY (Black Elves) from Wodessa
1 unit of REGULAR / HEAVY INFANTRY (Black Elves) from Wodessa. These two units are collectively known as The Spears of Wodessa.
1 HERO (Black Elf, Gladiator) who’s leading these troops to the Dark God’s proving grounds where troops are assembling.
RUT: GLORT’s Ministry of Non-Human Resources announced that they recently hired:
2 units of Veteran / Heavy Cavalry (Reptilian) from Troon
1 Priest – A stranger in this land answered the call for a Priest. His name is Shinshoku クック We don’t understand a word he says but he makes a mighty fine sushi with radish and onion.
EASTERN SCARNISH ALLIANCE: Without even having to ask, 2 units of artillery from Castlewain have joined the army of Thorvial Brightspear solely due to the justness of his cause and the foulness of his enemies:
1 unit of REGULAR / ARTILLERY from Castelwain = Dragonfang Flingers
1 unit of REGULAR / ARTILLERYfrom Castelwain= Dwarven Bombasts
They arrived at dawn, guttural war cries masked by the crashing of the waves upon the hot sands of Gowri Beach. Scaly and menacing, the invading hordes steadily marched towards the bluffs where the army of King Rama Rumm I has assembled. An ancient horn sounded, its chilling notes an ill harbinger of the bloodshed that was to come.
Rumbling out from the flanks of the beach, two regiments of Te Kuiti Heavy Chariots, made a beeline for the vanguard of the invading Reptilian army. The eyes of their skeletal occupants glowed with an otherworldly greenish-blue fire. Those eyes had seen many battles over the centuries. Following the chariots, marching forward in steady measured steps, were three regiments of undead Heavy Infantry. At the center, led by their fabled Lord, Akbar the Risen, were the Tomb Guardian mummies who protected Akbar’s timeworn palace.
The invading force was not deterred. Bloodthirsty and resolute, GLORT raised his massive, reptilian fist and the Warlord bellowed out a command for his front-line forces to attack. Geckuana archers scurried forward and loosed their bows. Launching themselves into the morning skies, several groups of hungry Pterosaurs flew towards the bluffs looking to cause mayhem and find their next meal.
Chaos erupted. The sky blackened as the Sudra Archers unleashed their arrows into the reptilian hordes. Lieutenant Bimballa gave the order to fire the Spear Launcher, the springal’s iron-tipped javelins skewering the advancing lizard-men. Abcar Tamar, the legendary Djinn magician, slowed GLORT’s troops with his mystifying wizardry.
But it wasn’t enough. Still, the unending green tide attacked. Wave upon wave of spears, scales, and teeth kept coming unabated. An unhinged T-Rex trampled the dusty undead legions and gnawed on their bones. The beast was joined by a weird menagerie of giant ants, giant rats, and an assortment of demons from the depths of Fengoria. GLORT didn’t care who joined his army, as long as they could kill, conquer, and help him find the Jade Zodiac.
As GLORT’s warriors fiercely pressed on, the elderly Pharoah’s troops defiantly held the line. But then it suddenly happened, the turning point that occurs in every battle.
Akbar the Risen’s mummy infantry formed into a shieldwall, bracing themselves against the onslaught of a regiment of reptilian cavalry. As the rampaging carnosaurs crashed into the wall of shields, jaws snapping and dripping with gore, Akbar jumped into the fray, slashing apart lizard warriors with his golden khopesh. As cavalry warrior after warrior died at the hands of Akbar and his mummy legion, a moment of fear crept into GLORT’s usually staunch forces.
But in warfare, death is only a moment away. Akbar turned his back on a fallen carnosaur whose right leg he had sliced off moments earlier. With one last gasp, the dying beast hurled itself upwards, snapping its razor-sharp jaws at the mummy Lord. The bite tore through Akbar’s torso, spilling his dusty guts onto the blazing sands of Sudra. Akbar was on his way to the underworld, again.
Rama Rumm’s heart sank when he heard that one of his revered brigade commanders had perished. His troops valiantly fought on, but after four and half hours of intense fighting, the blood-soaked beach littered with an array of strange corpses, GLORT’s reptilian army finally drove off King Rama Rumm’s army. The green hordes had won. Sudra had fallen.
For roughly the last year, I’ve been following the developments of a small skirmish wargaming passion-project called Star Schlock. It’s being designed and developed by John who runs the 1000 Foot General wargaming blog.
I have a passing interest in sci-fi gaming, but nothing strong enough to commit to an all-in game system like Warhammer 40K, Infinity, or any of the current crop of Star Wars games. However, a skirmish-level, narrative sci-fi game where I can use whatever figures I want piques my interest, especially one that has a retro-sci-fi or lighthearted/campy feel. Star Schlock fits that second theme, mish-mashing the weird and wacky things that you loved as a kid from 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s sci-fi TV shows & movies.
A recent Kickstarter was launched for a new range of 28mm figures in white metal that work perfectly for Star Schlock. While I was hesitant to jump in initially, lest I fall too far down a side-project rabbit hole, I finally pulled the trigger and backed the project at an $80 level. That got me a core squad of 8 Astroguards, 5 Drone Troopers, 5 Necronauts (undead spacemen), and a bunch of stretch goal add-on figures. Nice!
John is still working on fine-tuning the rulebook for the game, although I believe he has created a version of the game that can be played on Tabletop Simulator (cool). I also believe they will open up the Kickstarter for Late Pledges fairly soon.
I’m looking forward to the game once it’s released. It should be a fun change-of-pace game.
From the ink-stained desk of Einar, the Fat Bard of Vela, here’s the current Turn-1 Summary of the War of the Jade Zodiac campaign.
1 – SPECIAL EVENT PHASE
ASSASSIN FOILED = GLORT’s palace guards captured a sneaky Elven assassin from the Eastern Scarnish Alliance and proceeded to publicly execute him in front of throngs of eager onlookers thirsty for extreme justice. GLORT gained 1 Glory Point.
A news correspondence from the AP was obtained by carrier pigeon and is shared below:
(AP) Alligator People
The national Reptilian Guard captures Elven spy attempting to assassinate GLORT.
Using facial recognition Reptilian Guards easily and swiftly determined an elven spy was in their midst.
The spy was burnt at the stake in the city square and later, everyone enjoyed elf-kabob with radish and onion.
2 – CAMPAIGN ACTIONS PHASE
King Rama Rumm I draws the 9 of Hearts and chooses to spend 1 Glory Point to increase his kingdom’s Siege Train Strength to 2.
Thorvial Brightspear draws the Queen of Hearts and also chooses to spend 1 Glory Point to increase his Siege Train Strength to 2.
Keltha Hellbringer draws the 2 of Spades and summons mysterious wizards to gather in the brooding lands of Beldarthia. Dark matters are discussed. One of the elders on the council is elected to provide supernatural aid to Hellbringer’s army. A Magician of MAJOR quality immediately joins the army.
GLORT draws the 3 of Clubs and calls for a Wizard’s Council to be held in the Reptilian Unified Territories. One of the council members is appointed to aid GLORT in his violent quest to find the fabled Jade Zodiac. A Magician of MAJOR quality joins the RUT Army.
3 – BATTLE PHASE
DECLARATION OF WAR:
BLACK Army (GLORT & Hellbringer) puts 1 AGGRESSION Dice into the bag.
RED Army (Brightspear & Rama Rumm) doesn’t put any Dice into the bag.
BLACK die is pulled from the bag, meaning BLACK Army is the AGGRESSOR this turn.
GLORT is chosen as the ATTACKING WARLORD this turn.
CHOICE OF BATTLE:
GLORT chooses to engage in a FIELD BATTLE, invading the land of SUDRA (2 LP Province) within the realm of Turkopolonia.
King Rama Rumm I is the ruler of SUDRA and becomes the DEFENDING WARLORD.
Neither Warlord asks for Allied Assistance from their partners.
GLORT and King Rama Rumm each gain 2 GLORY points for engaging in a FIELD BATTLE.
The Battle Scenario is SEA RAIDERS, with GLORT’s invasion force landing on Gowri Beach off the coast of SUDRA.
2000 Point Armies fielded by each side.
Battle to be resolved by playing a game of Dwarfnuckle (our online battle resolver).
The Battle of Gowri Beach
The battle, which took place on May-20-2021 (Harvestia Day 45 in Severnian time), saw GLORT’s reptilian army land upon the hot sands of Gowri Beach in the province of Sudra, in a brash attempt to defeat King Rama Rumm I’s defending Turkopolonian army.
Results of the online Dwarfnuckle battle, which lasted 9 turns:
GLORT’s army won the battle 21 to 6.
Since Margin of Victory was 3-to-1, GLORT won a MAJOR victory and earned 6 Glory points.
GLORTconquered SUDRA (2 LP) and adds that to his hand of LAND cards.
King Rama Rumm loses the land of SUDRA (2 LP).
Rama Rumm’s army ended with FATIGUE = 21 (16 Fatigue + 5 points because army broke). Based on that, Rama Rumm’s army lost 4 Units in the battle.
Rama Rumm’s army also suffered the loss of Akbar the Risen, their Lord-1 leader.
GLORT’s army ended with FATIGUE = 6, resulting in a loss of just 1 Unit for GLORT.
GLORT’s army was able to use its special HORDE power to pull off two Horde replacements (regain 6 Fatigue) and a Comeback (regain 5 Fatigue), returning a whopping 11 points. This ultimately proved to be the key turning-point in the battle.
Akbar the Risen, a legendary Mummy Lord, was slain by a Joker in the mid-rounds.
King Rama Rumm’s magician and magical units were partially effective early on, but played no part in the 2nd-half of the battle, much to the detriment of the King’s army.
4 – RAID PHASE
Thorvial Brightspear elects to raid TROON (4 LP Province) in the RUT realm (ruled by GLORT).
The bold, early morning raid occurs at a heavily traveled CROSSROADS.
Brightspear’s raiders succeed in stealing food, pack animals, wagons, ammunition, and weapons from GLORT’s land. The glorious haul is lauded by the people of Thorvial’s kingdom and he instantly gains 1 GLORY Point.
Keltha Hellbringer also performs a raid, attacking the province of DRUMLISH (3 LP Province) in Eastern Scarnish Alliance (ruled by Thorvial Brightspear).
The night-time raid occurs along the OCEANSIDE, about 20 miles north of Port Sumtar.
Hellbringer’s frightening raiding force steals food, pack animals & wagons, arrows, and assorted hand weapons from Brightspear’s realm. The successful raid is hailed by Hellbringer’s subjects and he gains 1 GLORY Point.
LOSSES & RECRUITMENT:
KILLED: Lord-1 (Akbar the Risen, Legendary Mummy Lord) from Rama Rumm’s army.
KILLED: Sudra Archers #2 (Shahrez, Heavy Archers, Vet) from Rama Rumm’s army.
KILLED: Black Rain Archers (Anubi, Heavy Archers, Vet) from Rama Rumm’s army.
ROUTED: Cassakhet the 3-Headed (Chimera, Monster, Vet) left Rama Rumm’s army.
ROUTED: Reptilian Heavy Cavalry (Reptilians, Heavy Cavalry, Reg) left GLORT’s army.
Crypt Keepers (Anubi, Heavy Archers, Reg) had routed off the battlefield but have stayed with King Rama Rumm’s army.
King Rama Rumm’s army acquired a new leader to replace Lord-1, who fell in battle. The new leader’s quality = MAJOR and class = CAPABLE.
Generally speaking, I’m not an angry person. But every so often, stupid stuff gets me worked up and I feel the need to rant. Since this is a hobby blog, my rants are hobby focused. Who the hell is nice all the time anyway? And who the hell cares really? It’s not like I’m going to offend hundreds of blog-readers. I don’t have hundreds of readers. So, sorry, but it’s just you lucky few who will read the ravings of this jerk-faced twit.
Warhammer Fest 2021
I’ve been reading and watching some YouTube videos about the recent Warhammer Fest 2021 online reveal events. There are fan boys excited about the new models being announced and disappointed geeks who are wondering why X or Y wasn’t released for their favorite GW game system. Frankly, I don’t give a shit. I’m not GW’s target audience.
There are several old GW games that I really enjoy (or did enjoy back in the day) such as Talisman, Warhammer Fantasy, and Space Hulk. But I never had any slavish devotion to GW as a company and never got caught up in the plastic crack addiction of chasing newer & newer, ever more costly models to use in their games. Thank God it’s one hobby addiction that I safely avoided, or else I might be living in a box beneath the highway underpass today.
Aside from a handful of cases, GW has never been the beacon of masterful game design. However, their models have almost always been super cool and of the highest quality. Or at least, they used to be. While I once loved the aesthetic of Warhammer Fantasy models, they jumped the shark into twisted, overwrought abominations with their figures years ago. It’s only gotten worse with Age of Sigmar. You need a heavy dose of hallucinogenic drugs to paint some of those figures.
The whole Warhammer Fest thing really drove home one of my long-held viewpoints: there’s miniature wargaming and there’s the Games Workshop hobby. It’s the difference between exploration, doing it yourself, and forging your own path, versus being spoon-fed marketing sizzle and brainwashed to believe there is One True Way. No thank you GW.
That said, I hope there’s an Old World Fantasy game released some day, with figures whose aesthetic hearkens back to a simpler time. But if it doesn’t happen, oh well, I’m not going to lose any sleep over it. There are already so many GREAT small companies that sell figures I love, so I’ll never run out of options.
The Fading Appeal of Stargrave
People are losing their shit over the new Stargrave skirmish game by Osprey. I don’t have any problem with that. I’m not here to tell you what to like. Joe McCullough is an excellent wargame designer and all-around good guy, so I’m sincerely happy for his success.
But… Personally, I’m not feeling excited about this new game. I’ve read about it and watched many reviews of it on YouTube and ultimately, it’s a re-skinning of Frostgrave. Why’s that bad? It’s not BAD. It’s just UNAPPEALING to me.
I love Frostgrave; it’s one of my favorite miniature wargames. It’s swingy and sometimes drags on longer than expected, but it’s colorful, produces thrilling and decisive moments (especially when flinging spells), and tells a fun story in the end. It’s my go-to skirmish level adventure game.
So Steve, if you LOVE Frostgrave then why wouldn’t you love Stargrave? Two reasons:
I enjoy FANTASY more than SCIENCE FICTION. If you’re going to produce a genre variant of a wargame that I already own, why would I fill my limited gaming time playing the second-class genre of that game when I can play the first-class version instead (Frostgrave)?
If I’m going to play a SCI-FI wargame, then I want it to bring something appreciably different to the table than the fantasy or historical games that I already play. It’s got to have that special thematic feel or unique & interesting mechanic. Stargrave doesn’t do that.
Am I really that much of a jerk for NOT wanting to play Stargrave? It’s your call — not that I’m going to listen to your persuasions anyway. Get off my lawn! On a less ranty note, if you don’t particularly like fantasy (in which case, you and I will never be good friends), but you really love SCI-FI, then I think getting a copy of Stargrave is a no-brainer for you.
SJW’s and Gaming
I’m a registered Democrat. To some folks in America, that labels me as a left-wing liberal. Whatever makes you happy ass-hats. In actuality, my political views are mostly moderate. In fact, I’ve been wanting to change my political affiliation to Independent, I just haven’t gotten around to doing it.
The impact of social media has greatly changed our world. Hop on Facebook and you’re bombarded by extreme political views from both ends of the spectrum. Although it’s not really the case, it sometimes feels like everyone is either an ultra left-wing radical or an ultra right-wing gun-toting nut-job. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of gargantuan assholes out there making a name for themselves every day. But I still think (hope?) MOST people are reasonable.
Over the last few years, the rantings of extreme Social Justice Warriors (SJW) have made waves across the oceans of our lives. They tell us that Pepe Le Pew is a rapist, Speedy Gonzalez has convinced our youth into believing that all Mexicans are lazy drunks, and Captain Underpants is a passive racist. You can’t make this shit up.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t think SJW’s would ever infiltrate into the culture of tabletop gaming, but I was dead wrong. Of late, role-players are dealing with the insane jabberings from Cancel Culture illuminati saying that the portrayal of Orcs in Dungeons & Dragons is racist. WTF?
I’m all for treating my fellow man with dignity and fostering an atmosphere of fairness and inclusiveness. But our world has more than enough REAL problems to solve that we don’t need to go around inventing fictional ones to make us look smarter or more socially responsible. Choosing cartoon characters and fantasy species as your Exhibit-A reference-point to make a point about racism or misogyny is about as dumb as it gets. As I said before, there are a lot of assholes out there and misguided SJW’s just reinforce that point.
So far, I haven’t really seen the Cancel Culture fanatics bash miniature wargamers and conjure up some imagined injustice. Thank God. But it will probably happen some day. I hope they all just stick to playing 40K and Stargrave and leave me the hell alone.
April 2020 was a difficult month. I lost my Mom (Patricia Ann Severino), easily the kindest, most caring, and most loving person that I’ve ever known. After close to 10 years suffering from the advancing effects of dementia, she succumbed to a sickness that she could no longer fight.
Alzheimer’s is a cold, ruthless disease, robbing the affected person of their intellect and spark. For the family who watches over and cares for them, it’s a grueling marathon that piles sadness upon sadness as the lovely person they’ve known slowly slips away.
I lived at home into my 30’s, before getting married and moving into a home of my own. Consequently, I got to spend lots of time with my Mom, time that I’ve come to realize was invaluable to shaping the person that I’ve become. She was my champion and confidence builder, encouraging me and believing that I could do anything that I set my mind to. But she was also a humble lady and taught me how to be graceful and gracious. Quiet, classy confidence, that was my Mom.
Mom LOVED people and looked for the good in them. She was always asking about my friends and co-workers during our conversations, because she truly cared about them. I’m hard-pressed to recall anyone ever saying a bad word about her. She taught me to listen to people and give them the benefit of the doubt.
I could go on and on about my Mom’s best attributes, but that’s not the purpose of this post. While Mom’s passing has left me sad and numb, I truly believe that her soul has moved on to a better place, and I’m relieved that her struggles & suffering are finally over.
As often happens during shocking life events, my Mom’s passing has reminded me of the value of our most precious commodity: TIME.
My Mom fell a couple of months shy of her 91st birthday. She had a long life, filled with happiness and people who loved her. But not everyone is so fortunate. In the past few months, there have been a few people in my extended friend/acquaintance circle who died unexpectedly, all of them before reaching their late 50’s. As they say, Time waits for no one.
To me, this is a wake-up call. Stop procrastinating and do the things MOST IMPORTANT to you. It’s not work — that’s just a means to make money. It’s not odd chores — they will eventually get completed, but they won’t provide you with any everlasting joy. What’s really important is HAPPINESS and FULFILLMENT. Do the things that bring you joy, that provide lasting memories, and that satisfy desires which fill your heart.
For me, that’s spending quality time with my friends & family. Those are the people that count.
I need to restart my hobbies (designing games, collecting, painting), do more fun things with my wife Anna now that we’re vaccinated from COVID (wineries, theatre, paint & sip, trips), and engage with my friends (dinners, gaming, outdoor events, movies).
Time is short, better start enjoying every moment of it when possible.