Toy Soldiers and Dining Room Battles

Toy Soldiers and Dining Room Battles

Friday, May 24, 2019

Gripping Beast Plastic Vikings

The other day I realized I have never really taken any "posed" pictures when I finished these Vikings as a Sea Raider Army for Dux Bellorum.  Since then they have battled in Middle Earth, in Dragon Rampant and various other games over the last year.  The over whelming are from one box of Gripping Beast miniatures with 2 metal command packs thrown in for variety.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

IHMN: Prologue: Wanted, Dead or Alive (Episode 5.5.1)

"Come in", said Grover Cleveland, President of the United States. SAIC James Dempsey of the United States Secret Service entered the White House's second-floor Yellow Oval Room which was the private office of the president.

The Yellow Oval Room of the White House.

"Mr. President, I will get right to the point."
"As always Dempsey."
"The Gale farm in Kansas has been attacked and destroyed."

 US Marshals that were first on the scene of the destruction of the Gale homestead.

President Grover Cleveland sat in silence for a moment, a stunned look on his face. "What was the fate of the Gales?"
"They were fortunately saved by a New York socialite by the name of Lamont Cranston who happened to be doing some land speculating in the area."
"And the princess?"
"Unknown sir."
Dempsey smiled. "A green woman. We suspect The Wicked Witch of the West."
"Has Princess Ozma been notified? The diplomatic considerations . . . "
"Sir, the Insta -Graham is down. Tesla suspects, as he describes it, 'Bizarre and unnatural interference.'"
The president slammed his hand down on the Resolute desk and looked directly at SA Dempsey. "Enough is enough. First the Smithsonian and now this. I did not want to get involved in what I thought was purely a European issue but American lives, and the lives of our Oz allies are at stake. Contact the Speaker and the President of the Senate. I want to see them in 2 hours. And Dempsey . . ."
"Yes Mr. President?"
"Is our Tesla Gate ready."
"Yes sir. Edison may some modifications to the gyroscope controls Nightengale and Tesla's alternating-current (AC) system with his direct-current (DC) electric power.
"Ordinarily I would send you and some of your agents, but there is not enough time to get you to our only known gate.  I know there is someone that has a personal vendetta against this so called witch. Contact the Marshal's office and activate Operation Looking Glass and tell them I want Task Force Tombstone. We are taking the fight to her . . . and Dempsey."

 The core team of Task Force Tombstone.
"I want her dead or alive."

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Romano-British Army and Arthur, Dux Bellorum

 Arthur, Dux Bellorum of Britain leads the elite of Britain against the Saxon invaders.

My Romano-British army composed primarily of Wargames Foundry figures with some Old Glory miniatures is finished and battle tested.  They are mounted for Dux Bellorum on 120mm wide bases.  In Dux Bellorum game terms I organized the army as my own interpretation of King Arthur:
1 Mounted Companions: 5 points
3 Noble Riders: 15 points
2 Ordinary Shieldwall: 6 points
1 Mounted Skirmishers: 2 points

Of course I utilize the Experience Warlord and Imposing Horsemen option!

The assembled War host.

Shieldwall infantry #1.
Shield Wall infantry #2.

Arthur is the middle figure from Wargames Foundry flanked by Old Glory miniatures. Since he was also known as the "Bear" I added an extra flag to go along with the traditional Pendragon standard.
Okay . . . I'm showing off the dragon painted on the shield.
Another view of the mounted force.
One of the most useful units are my mounted skirmishers for making Saxon Warbands charge when they don't want to. I have also discovered that dismounted skirmishers with javelins are very useful.

I love the priest from Wargames Foundry.

One last look at the "overlooked" infantry of Arthur's army.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Dux Bellorum: Sea Wolves!!!

This Dux Bellorum army will represent Early Era Saxons and Sea Raider Early Era Saxons.  The Warrior units are mounted on 120 mm x 60 mm stands and the Foot Skirmishers are mounted on 120 mm x 40 mm stands.

I haven't really decided on which stand will be the mighty Saxon war leader with his tough, but smelly companions around him.  Any of the four Noble Warrior stands, which I have identified with standards, can fulfill the role of leader.


I will probably do a couple more stands of foot skirmishers since the Sea Raider army can field more of these light troops.  I currently have one unit of archers and one with javelins.

Now it is time to raid the province of Britain and see if the Late Roman army has any fight left in it .

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Epilogue: Quartermain and the Jungle of Fear (Episode 5.4.1)

"Mycroft! It's been years and so good to see you!"
"And you Nightengale."
"Tezla and I have had the most amazing discussion - we can stabilize and set the gyroscope controls to another known gate."
"We can take the fight to the enemy."
"But no human has ever traversed a gate .  . . who would be foolish enough to first try?" Mycroft paused in deep thought. "Why of course. The Americans."

Monday, May 6, 2019

IHMN: Quartermain and the Jungle of Fear (Episode 5.4)

From the personal writings of Allan Quartermain: “And so I lay awake, smoking and reflecting on many things, but, being of a practical turn of mind, chiefly on how civilization is only savagery silver-gilt. It was a beautiful moonlight night, and, notwithstanding the mosquitoes, and the great risk we were running from fever from sleeping in such a spot, and forgetting that I had the cramp very badly in my right leg from squatting in a constrained position in the canoe, and that Good who was sleeping beside me was snoring horribly, I really began to enjoy myself. The moonbeams played upon the surface of the running water that speeded unceasingly past us towards the sea, like men's lives towards the grave, till it glittered like a wide sheet of silver, that is in the open where the trees threw no shadows. Near the banks, however, it was very dark, and the night wind sighed sadly in the reeds. We reached the trading post shortly after, and who was standing there but my old friend Umslopogaas, the legendary and fierce Zulu warrior poet. Uncompromisingly honorable, extraordinarily eccentric and relentless in battle he was a force to be reckoned with, a titanic power to behold. He was armed with his famed axe Inkosi-kaas so I knew this was no chance encounter . . . as I docked, he held up his hand in greeting and handed me a sealed letter from "The Government."

 Mycroft Holmes "The Government" (second from left) discussing the next steps in the "War of the Witches."

My Dear Quartermain,
I am still grieved by the loss of your son Harry to small pox. I would not write to you if it wasn't urgent with the Empire and all of Africa at stake. We have located Professor Nightengale's location and I am asking you a personal favor to retrieve him and bring him to the nearest port as he is urgently needed in England. We have gotten word from Astragard through our French allies that the Witch King has "mysteriously" disappeared. Be careful my old friend, we also have reports that "The-thing-that-should-never-have-been-born" is now in  . . .
Always your obedient servant,
M. Holmes


"Umslopogaas, I am 65 years old . . . "
"We are both old Allan, but we both love Africa and this Witch King must be stopped. We will rescue the professor."
"How did you know the contents?"
"I have my ways."
I sighed, smiled at Umslopogas, and went to wake up Good.

 Guess who is Quartermain in this installment? (You always play better with a hat!)

Quartermain's company consists of Sir Allan Quartermain, Umslopogas the Zulu hero, Captain John Good of the Royal Navy, three Kikuanua Veteran Warriors, and one camp guard. 

Based on Mycroft Holmes' information, Quartermain has discovered where Professor Nightengale is being held and rescues him. Now all he has to do is get him to the boat . . .

 The Witch King's Minions: The Captain of the Ruga-ruga guard, Ruga-rugas, Troglodytes and of course the Destroyer.

The initial set-up.

 The fearless Umslopogas leads the Kikuanua in hopes of slowing down the more numerous enemy.

"I say Sir Allan, what's that noise crashing through the jungle?"

 Time to move.

 "You will not outflank the great Macumazahn."

 Firing positions in the jungle.

 The warriors of both sides rush each other.

 A flanking move by the Destroyer and others.

 Meanwhile Quartermain escorts Nightengale away from the fighting.

That's a lot of bad guys.

 The mighty Umslopogas charges the Ruga-ruga with his mighty axe . . .

 . . . and is slain by a knife and two "1's". (Dang it!)

 Another mighty warrior is down (this is not looking good!)

"I will catch you and slice off your head!"

 "Come and try."

 "For Macumazahn!"

 Meanwhile . . . Quartermain and the Professor are moving as fast as they can . . .

 . . . while being pursued!

 That's one that is slain by a quick thrust of the spear.

Time for some volley fire.

 Knocked down by the volley fire.

 Two can play that game as Captain Good and the camp guard use volley fire to kill the Ruga-ruga.

 Oh . . . um . . . so that is what was roaring.

 Old feet do your thing!


 Good time to pass a pluck roll to get up and move out.

 We can still stop them before the Terror of the Jungle arrives.

A firing line is formed as Quartermain and Nightengale prepare to cross the bridge.

 "What? What did you say?"


 "Keep moving and protect your beautiful legs oh White man from the stars!"

The troglodytes catch up.

 Of course, they have a great incentive to run very fast.

 Another trog is slain! He is becoming a literal one man army.


 I now regret having stopped to fight that Ruga-ruga.

 The situation as some try to run, some try to fight and others try to fulfill their mission.

 The greatest shot in Africa easily takes out the Ruga-ruga. Too late he realizes he should have shot the Ruga-ruga leader.

These troglodytes were much tougher in the old days.

 I see the boat!

“Fare you well, my brother! Death is good! Thus, indeed, I would die, for I have made me a mat of men to lie on," he cried with a great voice.”  

  Macumazahn (Watcher-by-Night) stands his ground like Horatio at the bridge in order for Professor Nightengale to escape.

The mighty warrior of a man engages the Destroyer in a last ditch attempt to stop him from joining the fight.


 Tastes a bit salty.

 I did not sign up for this . . .

 Quartermain is also a good shot with a pistol.

"So you failed your pluck and could not get back up? You know what I call that?  A snack."

The mighty warrior stands his ground.

 Huzzah!  I made it.

"Run Sir Allan!"

 The troglogdyte catches Quartermain.

 Still defending the bridge . . . 

 "But the leader gets by."

 It was a good death.

"Hmmm, the leader does taste good."

 Quartermain gets knocked down but gets up next turn and runs like the dickens toward the boat.

 The Terror crosses the bridge.

"Huzzah! You made it. But where is everyone else?" 

The remaining troglodyte attempts to attack Quartermain . . . 

 . . . just as Professor Nightengale gets the static-electro solar engine started.

 Crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside.

 "Let's get you home Professor."


Wow. What a bloody game. This game had more casualties than any other game we have played. We used the scenario "Death at your Heels" from In Her Majesty's Name and decided to use a dinosaur. Starting in turn 2, the dinosaur move 1 D10-2 inches after the movement phase. Any figure on a parallel line with the creature was a dino snack. A challenging scenario: do you stop and fight the other company? Do you run? If you run will the other company shot at you?  If your engaged and the dinosaur catches up . . . 

This was a nerve wracking scenario and one Quartermain barely survived.

 This Kikuanua Veteran Warrior was definitely the hero of the game!

Now, where is the Witch King?