Sunday, April 27, 2014

Hostile Realms: Two Battles at The Time Machine

We got together yesterday at the gaming site of the Time Machine in Manchester, CT, which they have now named "The Portal", a suitable choice, I think. They have moved all their "Adventure Gaming" (i.e., Fantasy and Historical miniatures games, RP, card and board games) and related  modeling, dice, etc inventory into this large space, along with plenty of table space for gaming and some sales of soft drinks and snacks for hungry and/or thirsty gamers. Overall, it is a very impressive operation. I hope that they are able to sustain it financially. I think moving the gaming sales into this space should pay off with more volume. Their inventory of Board games was astounding, actually. They also had a huge selection of board games available for rent on site by the day for $5, a very reasonable way to try out a new title or just share a game with some friends.

This event was intended to allow a number of players from the HAHGS group to try out the Hostile Realms rules. Most of the guys had single figure mounted GW armies, so we were very flexible with the basing and units chosen, which worked out just fine.  I must admit to being more than a bit rusty on the rules myself. I reviewed them some, and had planned to re-read the entire book Friday night to be better up to snuff. So, of course, Friday was one of the busiest days in the office in a year, and I didn't finish seeing patients until after 7PM. The best laid plans...  Anyway, I packed the car up Friday night so that I could leave at 8:30 AM Saturday. Ordinarily it takes about 75 minutes to drive to Manchester from my house. So, of course, I hit a HUGE traffic delay on I-84 in Hartford - 4 miles long!  It took me an hour to go those four miles due to some bridge renovation work. Fortunately for all except Jacob, Joe and Peter C were also coming from the West, and got ensnared in the same automotive debacle. You'd better be sure we all returned across the Connecticut River by a different route, as there was similar construction Eastbound as well. Anyway, I finally arrived at the TM at about 10:45, and we commenced setting up the two games, side by side on their largest table (about 4 feet wide by 12 feet long, I think.

Peter C's Northern Barbarian Confederation army, with Trampler! OMG, is that THING huge! Most of his troops were freshly mounted on new bases for the game. I contributed a unit of old Grenadier (I think) Boar Riders to bolster his forces.

Here's the composition Peter used for his Northern Barbarian Confederation army, more or less:

Warlord 132
Battleleader 132
Mounted Warchief 96
Warchief 80
Grand Shaman 88
Total Characters = 528

Hearthguard 99
MC Noble Warriors 33
Horde Bowmen 27
Horde Warriors 8x27=216
Ogres 60
HC Beastriders 51
Tramplers with Bows (Mammoth) 45
Total unit points = 699

Total army points = 528 + 699 = 1227

Part of Greg's Greenskin army (Orcs and Goblins, and Trolls, oh my!)

Here's one of the drafts of Greg's army:

Orc/Goblin Army

Bone Cracker/grimgore (Champion) 132
Flesh trampler (boar mount) 96
Inept orc shaman II 70 (swarm of snotlings, dk if poison or diseased fits best?)
Inept Goblin Shaman II 70 (Swarm of snotlings)
Characters 368 pts

2 x  Skirmish Goblin Raiders 24
2 x Goblin Archers  42
2 x Orc Archers 42
4 x Orc Warriors  (dual hand weapons) 108
3 x Goblin spear 90
1 x Goblin Axe 27
1 x Orc Obsidian Pike Block 108
1 x Orc Blood Thirster/Savage 42
1 x Orc Touchskins 84
1 x Orc Boar Ridersx2 84
2 x Goblin Wolf Riders 102

Total 1216

Another view of the Barbarian host.

Left half of the Greenskins.

Right half of the Greenskins.

The Barbarians, having gone BERSERK, have surge forwards, seizing the central ridge line. 

"Your mother was pretty!", the Barbs taunt the Orcs...

On the Greenskin right, the Inept manages to SUMMON a horde of snotlings.

The Berserk Barbarians surge forward into MELEE.  Not surprisingly, the Trampler tramples the Goblim archers. "Hey, what's this icky green stuff I have caught between my toes?"  In the background, the Barbarian Shaman, having failed to do any damage with a prior Fireball, contemplates preparing a blockbuster spell... but never manages to progress any further with the elaborate preparations required. 

Barbarian hordes mix it up in melee with the Greenskins. 

The Orc archers try to shoot the Trampler but miss, however they repulsed it in the subsequent melee - must have been that last point blank arrow volley that dazed the best!

The height of the battle, almost every unit is fighting it out with axe, sword, Pike or dagger!  By the time this scrum was all over, there were 4 Orc units in Rout, all likely to leave the table and the game if the Orcs turned a MOVE card before they could attempt to rally them on a LEADERSHIP card.  At the same time, quite a few of the Barbarian units had been defeated in Melee, most not severely. However, once a Beserk unit losses a melee, it loses the UP 2 for the Beserk status, and thus become somewhat inferior to their Orcish opponents. I think the Barbarians might have won with continued play, especially if they could make good use of their powerful shaman, but the Orcish Pike Block in the center was shredding Barbs right and left! Neither of these armies are what you would call  forces that depend upon (or are capable of) much finesse!

Jacob brought his Ogre army, which he stated as the Dwarf army. This fit due to their combination of toughness and the use of gunpowder weapons. As you can see, the model;s are anything but dwarfish - look at the tusk riders to the right, and the enormous ? Trolls.

The rest of the Ogre battle line. A lot less units here than the Barbarians and Greenskins - quality is expensive!  We played with a bit over 1200 points per army. 

Joe brought his old GW Bretonians, using the Army list for the Middle Kingdom. 

The rest of Joe's Middle Kingdom army. There are some more pictures on his own blog here and here

Heres the approximate composition of Joe's army:

Not Quite Middle not Breton Army
Knights of the Dinner Table (EHC, lance fearsome) 126 points
3 units Elite Fuedal Knights: (EHC, lance, fearsome) @94 for 282
Squires (HC, Med, spear) Regulars 55 points
3 units regular archers (inf, lt armor, longbow, 3 hits ) @40 for 120 points
1 unit skirmishing archers (inf, lt armor, longbow, 2 hits) 21 points
Spears (inf, med armor, spear, 3 hits) 27 points

General-Duc, d'Couronne (EHC,sword,3 hits,EH Arrmor, special attack-up one die type melee)@ champion (12) 180 points
Army Standard Bearer (EHC,sword,3 hits,EH Arrmor)@ hero (8) 112 points
The Green Knight (HC, Hvy Armor, 3 hits, sword) 108 points
Lady Morgana (HC, Unicorn (w/lance), Hvy Armor) @Wizard Lv 4 and Champion (22) 220 points

Lady Morgana, The Green Knight and the Standard Bearer may be adjusted, they all have a back story. At 1251 points, I can drop the skirmishers or go for a 1250 point total.

The longbowmen of the Middle Kingdom take aim at a mass of Ogres.... and fail to accomplish much. Archers really need to be in Line for the best shooting effect. 

The ogre press the attack home, The Longbows have wisely pulled back, hoping to "reload". 

One unit of Middle Kingdom knights dispatched it's opponent, but the others were... less successful. Evidently things went downhill quickly from there aided by Joe rolling a lot of 1's and 2's in Melee. I was helping Greg and Peter C work out the mass of combats on their half of the table, and by the time I looked over to take more pictures, Joe and Jacob were already packing it up!

Thanks to everyone for bringing their armies and playing!


In case one of the players couldn't make it at the last minute, or we had any walk-ons, I did up an Army using the list for The Realm, and assorted figures from my Hussite, Renaissance, and nascent English HYW armies:

The Realm:

2 Knights Elite  EHC, Lance, Fearsome  @ 91 = 182
1 Men at Arms Regular HC, Lance @55 = 55
1 Border Horse  Native LC, Javelins, Mace @ 27 = 27
2 Halberdiers Militia HI, Polearms @36 =72
1 Border Pikes  MI Pike   @  55 = 55
2   Imperial Longbows Elite MI, Longbow, Sword, Fearsome @ 77  = 154
2  Longbows  Regular MI - Longbow, Sword @ 55 = 110
1 Crossbowmen  LI - Crossbow @ 21 = 21

1 Dragon 189

1 Archduke  Champion, EHC, Sword @ 168
1 Earl  Hero, HI, Sword @80
1 Master Yeoman Hero, MI, Longbow @ 72
1 Battle Mage Hero/Wizard (II), HI, Flail @48

Total = 1233

Character Generation:

Archduke:  D20 roll = 17, "Impressive" Champion with 15 AP
Leadership D20 Roll 16+2 = 18. Skilled Commander, LD12, Command 10", add 1 Brillisant Leader Card

Earl:  D20 roll = 4, "Mundane" hero with 6AP
Leadership D20 roll = 6 +2 = 8. Average  Commander LD10, Command 8"

Master Yeoman:  D20 roll = 15, "Competent" Hero with 8AP
Leadership D20 roll 12 +2 = 14 Average Commander LD10, Command 8"

Battle Mage: D20 roll = 19, "Spectacular" Hero with 12 AP
Leadership D20 roll 15 +2 = 17,  Skilled Commander, LD12, Command 10"
Level 2 Mage D20 Wizard Aptitude Roll = 19+1 = 20! "Gifted" Base CDV D10, 9 SP
Spells: Level 1  Bless/Curse, Strengthen/Weaken  (2 SP)
Level 2: Dismay and Mire, Windstorm  (4SP)
Level 3: Lightning Storm  (3SP)

Broad view of the Army of The Realm; probably needs some reserves?

Frontal view of the Right Wing of the army.

Right Center of the army (IO don't have enough longbows so I substituted Crossbowmen for the lesser archers!)

Center of the army featuring a Pike Block covered by skirmishing Crossbowmen. 

Left wing of the army; two ranks of longbows backed up by a unit pf HI Halberdiers; The Archduke rides with a unit of knights/Gendarmes.. 

Rear view of the Center of the army.Note the Wizard, with a clear field of "fire". 

Rear view of the right flank with Dragon and supporting Heroes. 

It took me forever to pick out the units from my collection, which got me thinking about how I have my Late Medieval/Renaissance armies organized for storage - part by Unit Type, part by army. This winds up being the worst of both worlds when looking for a unit or assembling an Army. I think I am going to change to organizing them strictly by army. This would include armies for Late Byzantines, Teutonic Knights, Hussites, HYW  English, Renaissance Spanish, Renaissance French, Renaissance Holy Roman Empire, and Renaissance Italian States (Venice, Florence, Papacy, Milan). If nothing else it will provide motivation for some post Historicon painting!


  1. oh wow! this has to be the best post so far... lots of photos with great reading material... and all the miniatures look marvelous. Army of The Realm is my favorite, mind you all armies/units look so cool...

    all the best,

  2. Thanks, Phil; glad you enjoyed it. I'd say the armies are a bit "unfinished", as most players were using figures intended for other systems, base work needing to be finished, etc., but there was a great variety of troops used, and everyone had a chance to try out the system.

  3. Strange and very, very nice! Seems to be very pleasant to play!

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Great post Gonsalvo. I have always had the urge to paint a Barbarian Conan style army. The mammoth is massive!

    1. Peter C's army is made up of a variety of Historical Barbarian types, IIRC - Ce;ts, Gauls, Germans, etc - much Howard probably imagined them!

  6. Good report, I'll need to post more on my blog later. Thanks for umping, I know I and jacob had a pretty good time.

    1. I'll look for the post on Fish Tales. Glad you both enjoyed it, and sorry I was a bit rusty on the rules myself!

  7. Always love to read FoB/HR reports. Great mix of armies. Looking forward to seeing you again at Historicon.

  8. Thanks, Tim; glad you enjoyed it.

    I very much look forward to seeing you again at Historicon as well - less than 3 months to go.

    Egads, I have some painting to do!

  9. Love this post! Great pics, some original armies and man, gotta love that mammoth!

    1. Thanks, Iannick!

      Peter C. tells me he got the Mammoth for free; he is working on scratch building a howdah for it.