Rescue the Baggage

This is the second of the scenarios in the starter set scenario book. The dwarves have Bifur, Bofur and Bombur and the Goblins have 12 goblins and Grinnah. The dwarves have to get to the weapon pile and then get back to their starting position. The goblin has to try and kill two of the dwarves.

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The starting positions. The dwarves have two options herein this game. They can jump the gap or go the long way round.

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Ben decided to send Bofur toward the gap and Bifur accompanied Bombur on the long march over the platforms. I attempted to jump two goblins over the gap but ended up rolling two 1’s and they both fluffed the jump and fell to their deaths.

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Bofur jumped the gap but only just. He rolled a one as well and had to modify it with might to avoid the drop.

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Bifur joined Bofur by leaping over the gap and the two dwarves start chopping through goblins like no one’s business. They leave Bombur to hold off the goblins coming round the platforms which he managed to do all game.

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The dwarves soon broke the goblins and Grinnah promptly failed his stand fast and legged it. I had been rolling very badly for my goblin reinforcements all game and the goblins very quickly melted away once they were broken allowing  the dwarves to pick up the weapons and run to safety. I had managed to knock a wound off Bifur and Bombur but could not quite finish them off.


Adding to the lead pile

Managed to bag a bit of a bargain from Denmark this week. Most of the figures don’t help with the things I need for the journey books but there are some nice OOP bits. Felt a bit like Christmas all over again. pics Metal Easterling commanders Narzug Lindir Legolas foot and mounted (the metal version) Bullroarer Tool foot and mounted Mordor taskmaster and Drummer (metal) kardush the firecaller 2 x metal vault warden teams (metal and two different poses) Durin and Mardin Murin and Drar Dain

The Breakthrough

Me and my eldest played one of the scenarios from the “your journey begins here” book from the Goblin town starter set at the weekend. We used the full rules rather than just introducing the suggested sections as we have played a few games now and we have the hang of things.

This scenario pits Fili, Kili, Oin and Gloin against the goblin captain and 12 goblins (killed goblins can come back though). It uses the terrain from the starter set and the dwarves objective is to get from one side of the platforms to the other in 10 turns.

There are not too many options for the dwarves they basically have to charge forward and cut their way through the goblins. The key thing they need to do though is to may sure they get priority so they can keep moving forward with heroic moves and where possible heroic combats. My son played good and I was evil (as per normal).

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The two sides face off
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The dwarves and goblins clash on the rickety walkways of goblin town.

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Turn 9 and the dwarves are close thanks to some well used heroic combats and moves but they really need to win the fight.

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With the majority of the goblins cut down three of the dwarves make it to safety and victory.

The main turning point in the game was the dwarves breaking the goblins. Once this happened some of the reinforcements were vanishing off the board as soon as they appeared. This was an enjoyable games and its a closely balanced scenario. I think it is tipped slightly toward the dwarves but they need some luck on their side to get over in the 10 turns.

We also played the second scenario so I will write this up when I get chance.

Review of the year

As is traditional I thought I would do a quick review of the year.

I set the blog up in roughly July when I decided to work through the Lord of The Rings journey books. Since then I have managed to paint a fairly large amount of miniatures but I have also managed to buy quite a few as well. I have sold off a lot of stalled and half finished projects though to the hobby has been pretty much cost neutral and the overall lead pile has not grown too much. Looking at my painting log list I have finished a couple of hundred figures over the last 6 months.

One thing that did happen is that I got a bit side tracked and painted a load of stuff that’s not needed for the journey books or that does not pop up until later scenarios. This was partly a conscious decision as I wanted to get a decently sized army painted up so I could use it for pickup games. I went for Gondor as I had figures for most of the options in the army list and they will be used in the Return of the King scenarios.

I have played a decent amount of games with my boys and I have also introduced a new person to the hobby and I have had several games with him as well. One thing I need to do this year is get out and play some more games. I have Orc ward games, two games clubs and a couple of games workshops close to me so I need to get some games arranged.

So then aims for the next year are –

  1. Focus on getting the figures and terrain needed for the three journey books (there are a few models I need to get hold of still)
  2. Get more games played and maybe go to one of the GBHL tournaments
  3. Stay pretty much cost neutral by continuing to sell off stuff I no longer use

Arwen and Frodo

Another figure done for the journey books. Not a bad model this one but I think Arwens face is a bit on the dodgy side. Not sure what happened with the Arwen sculpts during this timeframe as the foot Arwen is a terrible model and would be high up on a list of the worst models in the range. On the other hand the newer sculpt of Arwen is a beautiful model and one of my favorites of the range. I have the newer sculpt in the paint queue and I am looking forward to getting that one painted up.


The scenario in the journey book has the option of using Glorfindel to replay what happens in the book rather than the film so I will have to get him on the painting table soon.

I have also been converting a few bits to try and fill some gaps in the ranges now that some models are no longer available. The first batch of these are my Corsair alabasters. These were made using the plastic corsair models with crossbow arms from the Perry miniatures European mercenary box set. I have done a total of eight of these along with a converted Bosun/captain to lead them. I will get updated pictures of these guys up once I have them painted but that might be a while away.


Corsair alabaster conversions
Corsair alabaster conversions

Having been inspired by the new film I have also been working through some of the Hobbit bits I have. I have finished 10 Mirkwood rangers and Bard. The Master of laketown and an eagle are on the painting table at the moment. I really need to get on and get some more photos done.

Priming Miniatures

Priming your miniatures seems to be a question that pops up on a regular basis on various forums so I thought I would put up a quick post on how I prime my figures.

I now do all my priming with Vallejo surface primer.

Vallejo surface primer
Vallejo surface primer

I used to use various spray primers but I now brush prime everything. This way I can be assured of getting a good even coverage over all the miniature making sure no detail is obscured and that awkward to reach areas are primed which can often be missed with a spray primer. Spay primers are smelly, messy and you can’t prime reliably when it’s too humid or too cold (normally to cold in the UK). With the brush on primer I can prime my figures indoors and in any weather so I can get them done anytime. It also works out loads cheaper. I bought the Vallejo primers for £9.99 from Boyes and for that you get 200ml. It’s also widely available at various model shops and online stores. I have lost track of the amount of miniatures I have primed and I still have three quarters of the bottle to go.

The next question is what colour to prime. The Vallejo primers are available in a few different colours but I only ever use black and white primers. Having said that I prime 99% of my figures black and only prime a figure in white if it’s going to predominantly white or very light coloured. The only figure I have recently primed white is Gandalf the white. I also sometimes prime horses white if they are going to end up white or light gray. I find that a black undercoat suites the generally muted colours of the Lord Of The Rings range very well.

The method is very straight forward and there is not much to say on it to be honest. I would recommend not using your best brushes for this and although it’s tempting don’t use something too big, something along the lines of a number 2 brush is ideal. I am currently using a past its best army painter regiment brush.  As with all painting give the bottle a good shake, make sure you don’t overload your brush and give the model a nice even coverage of the primer.

Army of the dead

I recently finished of the last half of the army of the dead figures along with the king of the dead. I went for the bog standard green movie look and it was dead easy to do (see what I did there). A white undercoat followed by codex grey over the whole figure. I then picked out some of the details like beards, armour etc and did a heavy dry brush of a relevant colour on these bits e.g. a brown for the beards. I then gave them a wash with green ink and following that a light white dry brush. I now have 24 of these guys with the king to lead them. Unfortunately for points matches there are no army of the dead captains and with the maximum warband size being 12 this means that if I wanted to field more than 12 of them they would be lead by a Dol Amroth captain or similar. Maybe I can come up with a suitable conversion for one. I have a couple of the metal warriors of the dead figures I picked up in a trade so I might be able to do something with them as the base.

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