Friday 25 December 2015

Gingerbread Space Marines

Two gingerbread space marines I made with my kids. Merry Christmas!

gingerbread space marine 1

gingerbread space marine 2

Thursday 10 December 2015

The Waltrop Campaign / Day 9 / HotT Battle Report

On day 9 of our Hordes of the Things campaign, Krüger moved his orcs into hexagon 88 on the campaign map. He wanted to get closer to the mountains to recruit trolls, ogres and giant spiders, I guess.

campaign map

Our campaign takes place on an imaginary island called Waltrop. We have a neighbour who is from a town called Waltrop. So I invited Jörg, the neighbour who inspired us to do this campaign, to play out the encounter taking place on hexagon 88.

It was Jörg's second game of HotT. He was the defender and played a troll, a giant, some goblins and large insectoids with this list:

Hero (General), Behemoth, 6 Spears, 2 Beasts

Krüger played the orcs:

Warband (General), 5 Warbands, 1 Hero, 2 Riders, 2 Shooters

Jörg placed two tropical forests, a tiny piece of rough terrain and a lake on the gaming table.

Although we advised him not to do so, Jörg split his army into three parts. On his right flank he deployed the spears, in the centre the hero general and the behemoth and on his left flank the beasts.

Krüger deployed his orc warbands opposite to Jörg's goblin spears and all of his other troops on his ride side. Movement between the warbands and the spears was partially blocked by the lake which we defined to be impassible.

boar riders versus giant insects

Early on in the game Jörg's hero general, a troll, destroyed Krüger's hero, an orc, by making him recoil into other friendly troops. Then Krüger's orc boar riders destroyed Jörg's beasts. Jörg moved his behemoth, an ugly giant, to his right flank to support the goblin spears. Krüger wasn't sure if he should attack the spears or not. Meanwhile Jörg killed an element of shooters and an element of riders with his hero general on his left flank.

orcs versus goblins

When Krüger finally attacked the spears with his warbands, he wasn't that lucky. His general, with a rear rank element giving +1 support, was forced to recoil into the lake. Actually only the rear rank element ended up in the lake and we weren't sure how the rules work in this case. We decided to remove both elements and not just the rear rank element. This ended the game.

Jörg won and Krüger wasn't able to occupy hexagon 88. We went to my favourite Greek tavern, ordered some Imyglkos and discussed why Krüger is such a good badminton player which is kind of unlikely if you consider that he sits in front of the computer and smokes two packets of cigarettes a day.

Thursday 26 November 2015

Foam Board Hexagons

I'm currently working on something quite boring. I have two boxes, filled with 150 hexagons cut out of foam board.

2 boxes

They are large enough to put several 28 mm miniatures on them. I want to use the hexagons to play Commands & Colors and to make my own strategy game.

28 mm hoplites

Therefore I'm glueing colored paper onto them. This is a complicated technique which takes a lot of time.

glueing colored paper onto form board hexagons

The other day I told Krüger: "Krüger, I started to work on the hexagons again." He said: "After a couple of years, some projects come to a point where you just need to give up."

Here in Berlin, where I live, late autumn is cold and dark and many of my friends become gloomy and loose their energy.

Tuesday 20 October 2015

The Waltrop Campaign / Day 8 / HotT Battle Report

On day 8 of the Waltrop Campaign young officer Fibos asked general Heracleides: "Please allow me to lead a small army into the Orc territory." (He is talking about hexagon 30 on the campaign map.) Heracleides accepted.

Krüger and I played out the battle between Fibos army and the Orcs with the excellent ruleset Hordes of the Things, using these army lists:

Spears General (officer Fibos), 5 Spears, 2 Riders, 4 Shooters


Warband General (Krüger can’t be bothered to make up a name for his general), 5 Warbands, 1 Hero, 2 Riders, 2 Shooters

I played the Greeks. I was the defender and had to place the terrain. I have just finished a paper mache hill which took me a long time to make, a couple of years actually. If this interests you, you can read more about it here. I placed the paper mache hill in the center of the board. I also placed three pieces of tropical forest on the tabletop, a large one and two small ones.

Both armies started with some elements in the woods and ran for the hill. When the battlelines met, some elements were left behind, two shooters on my side and two shooters on Krüger’s side.

It was my turn when the dice for close combat were rolled for the first time.

ancient greeks versus orcs & goblins

I started with a fight on my right side where I had an overlap. My slingers, supported by another element of shooters, destroyed one of Krüger’s Orc riders. Then my luck left me. Two of my spears were fighting two Orc warbands and lost the fight, although they were supported by an element of shooters on their right side. Then my general and another element of spears were destroyed by the Orc general. Thus I lost the battle. The Greeks weren’t able to occupy hexagon 30 on the campaign map.

campaign map

"What was the problem, Fibos?"

"I had never fought on a hill before, Heracleides. I thought, we had to be on the hill before the barbarians could reach it. When our phalanx reached the slope of the hill, with some troops still left behind in the woods, I realized my mistake, but we couldn’t go back. We destroyed their cavalry but then they crushed us. They are horrible creatures, green and bulky."

"You have to be more patient. Wait for the enemy, until he is where you want him."

"Yes, Heracleides."

"If you make another mistake like this, I will send you back to the academy in Athens and have you study philosophy and mathematics."

"Yes, Heracleides."

Tuesday 25 August 2015

Wednesday 12 August 2015

The Waltrop Campaign / Day 7 / HotT Battle Report

Here’s a Hordes of the Things battle report from the 7th day of our Waltrop campaign. It was Krüger’s turn. He played the orcs who have their villages in hexagon 20 and 38 on the campaign map. They invaded hexagons 29, 30 and 39 without further resistance. In hexagon 21 they encountered a small Greek army under the command of officer Fibos. Fibos had just lost a battle against an orc tribe and a dinosaur, so he was ready to fight for his honour and life this time.

I played the Greeks:

Spears (General), 5 Spears, 2 Riders, 4 Shooters

This is Krüger’s Orc army:

Warband (General), 5 Warbands, 1 Hero, 2 Riders, 2 Shooters

I was the defender and placed the terrain, 3 tropical forests and a swamp.

I deployed my army on my left side, placing a phalanx of spears in the centre, flanked by two shooters on each side. On my right flank I put two riders, my Thracian allies.

Krüger deployed his troops opposite to mine. He fielded six warbands against six spears. Krüger likes symmetry, I guess.

ancient greeks versus orcs & goblins

While the two battle lines moved towards each other, the Thracian riders went around the swamp, which I had placed in the centre of the board, to attack an element of orc wolf riders and two orc shooters on Krüger’s left flank.

When Krüger’s hero came into range of my shooters, I was very lucky. I rolled a 6 and he rolled a 1 and lost the hero. This demoralised Krüger so much that he was about to give up already. He said: “Hordes of the Things is really all about luck.“

Next, I attacked one of Krüger’s orc riders with the two shooters on my left side. I won that fight too. The element of riders was removed.

Then two of my Greek spears, with support on both sides, destroyed two orc warbands.

ancient greeks versus orcs & goblins

On my right flank I wasn’t that lucky. One of my Thracian riders got into a life or death situation with one of Krüger’s orc riders and I lost the fight.

Finally, my general, who had support on both sides, destroyed the orc general. I won the game. The orcs weren’t able to occupy another hexagon.

campaign map

Now every player owns about 7 hexagons on the campaign map. We will change the rules a bit. From now on, every move on the campaign map will trigger a battle, either with another player’s army or with a random encounter, green creatures, wild orcs, dinosaurs or something else.

Tuesday 4 August 2015

The Waltrop Campaign / Day 6 / HotT Battle Report

campaign map day 6

On the 6th day of the Waltrop campaign, the Greeks under the command of Fibos explored the jungle next to the beach where they have their camp. (Hexagon 21 on the campaign map.) There, they encountered a group of ferocious orcs and a silly looking dinosaur. Fibos, a young unexperienced officer, was not prepared for the battle that ensued. We used Hordes of the Things as a ruleset to simulate the battle.

I invited our neighbour Simon to play the orcs. He likes strategy games but had never played HotT before. I hope I explained the rules well. I always have a difficult time explaining the combat outcomes. Don’t know why. 

We used the following army lists:


Spears (General), 5 Spears, 4 Shooters, 2 Riders


Warband (General), 5 Warbands, 1 Behemoth, 4 Riders

I was the defender and placed 4 tropical forests as the terrain.

I deployed my whole army on my right side of the board. I placed a phalanx of 6 spears in the centre, flanked by 2 shooters on each side. On my left side, a little apart from the rest of the army, I placed 2 riders.

Instead of deploying the orcs opposite to my army, Simon placed them on his right side.

In the first phase of the game I attacked with 2 riders and 2 shooters on my left flank. Simon lost 2 riders, one was shot down, the other was destroyed standing in the way of a recoiling dino (behemoth). I lost 2 riders and a shooter.

In the second phase of the game, I attacked with my phalanx. The spears were able to destroy an orc warband and an element of goblin wolf riders. Then Simon’s behemoth, in a forest, but supported by an element of riders and a warband, destroyed one of my shooters and 2 of my spears.

All in all I lost 2 spears, 2 riders and 2 shooters, while Simon only lost a warband and 3 riders. The orcs won. Officer Fibos wasn’t able to occupy hexagon 21, but at least he didn’t get himself killed in the battle. Well done, Simon!

ancient greeks versus orcs & goblins

This picture was taken shortly before Simon's behemoth killed 2 of my spears, thus ending the game. It was taken with a pink Fisher Price kid tough digital camera which belongs to my daughter.

Tuesday 21 July 2015

Problems Making Papier Mâché Wargaming Hills

papier mâché wargaming hills

I enjoy making objects out of papier mâché. Masks, hexagons, walls, hills. I made these two hills about 6 years ago. I like the way they look but unfortunately they don’t work well as hills in a wargame. They are 3,50 cm high and have a smooth surface. Figures slide down or fall off.

papier mâché wargaming hill

Now I’m working on a hill that’s much flatter. It’s 1,50 cm high. I can’t make it flatter, I think. Then it wouldn’t look like a hill any more. It would look like a piece of area terrain.

Making a hill from papier mâché might not be the best idea, but as I said I like the material. It’s my favorite material. It’s my intention to make a hill that lies flat on the tabletop board. Unfortunately, each time I apply a layer of paper to a papier mâché object with wallpaper paste, the object changes its form while the paper dries. So it takes a long time to make a papier mâché hill that lies flat on the floor, possibly forever if you want a perfect hill.

papier mâché wargaming hill work in progress

I started to make this hill 2 or 3 years ago. In January I said to myself: Ok, two years are a long time to make a papier mâché hill. I have to finish this project now. I have to change my technique.

papier mâché wargaming hill work in progress

So I thought about ways to stabilize the object and applied a layer of Milliput, a self-hardening modeling clay which can be carved and sanded. This works a bit better but the hill still changes its form when it dries.

papier mâché wargaming hill work in progress

Maybe you think: Whatever. These are hobby problems. Not really important in a time when our environment is changing rapidly, reminding some of us of the big changes that happened 65 million years ago and lead to the extinction of dinosaurs.

clay dino

Or you experienced problems making papier mâché hills yourself and can offer some advice on solving them?

I hope I can finish the hill soon. And start three more.

Tuesday 23 June 2015

The Waltrop Campaign / Day 5 / HotT Battle Report

On the 5th day of our Waltrop campaign, the Orcs tried to occupy hexagon 39 on our campaign map. There, they encountered a group of Greeks exploring the jungle. We used the ruleset Hordes of the Things to simulate the battle that ensued.

Krüger played the Orcs:

Warband General, 5 Warbands, 1 Hero, 2 Riders, 2 Beasts

I played the Greeks:

Spears General, 5 Spears, 4 Shooters, 2 Riders

I was the defender and placed a couple of palm tree woods on the board to depict the jungle.

I deployed a block of 6 spears in the center, with 2 shooters on their left and 2 shooters on their right side. I placed 2 riders on my left flank.

Krüger deployed his 6 Orc warbands opposite to my spears. On his left flank he placed a hero and an element of riders; on his right flank, opposite to my cavalry, he placed another element of riders and 2 beasts.

ancient greeks versus orcs & goblins

I destroyed most of Krüger's cavalry early in the game. First, my two Thracian riders destroyed one of Krüger's riders (Orc boar riders) and one of his beasts (Goblin wolf riders). The element of beasts had supported the riders, recoiled into another element and was removed. Then, on my right flank two of my shooters shot down another Orc boar rider.

ancient greeks versus orcs & goblins

When our battlelines collided, instead of going for Krüger's last element of beasts, which was hiding in a wood, I moved the 2 Thracian riders behind Krüger's line.

In close combat, Krüger's warbands killed 2 of my spears, his hero killed two of my shooters, my spears killed 2 warbands and Krüger's last element of beasts killed one of my shooters.

ancient greeks versus orcs & goblins

Then I attacked Krüger's hero with 2 spears, placing one of them in his flank, and one of my riders was able to give rear support while my spear general attacked Krüger's general. Krüger lost the hero and the general, loosing the game. Thus the Orcs weren't able to occupy hexagon 39.

My mother in law, who is from Honduras, and Hendrik, my son, watched the game. We tried to explain the rules to them and what it's all about. After the game I asked her for a short battle report. Here it is.

Tuesday 9 June 2015

Rainbow Crawler / Gurps Stats

The rainbow crawler is a colorful eight-legged creature, about 13 inches long. It’s a scavenger, feeding on dead animal and plant material. Its bite causes paralysis.

ST: 4   DX: 12   IQ: 4   HT: 12

HP: 4   Will: 10   Per: 12   FP: 12

Speed: 6   Move: 6

Dodge: 9   DR: 1

SM: -4

Bite (12): 1d-5 crushing + follow-up paralysis

Traits: Acute Taste & Smell 2; Acute Vision 1; Attractive (Universal); Bad Smell; Clinging; Damage Resistance 1 (pelt); Discriminatory Smell; Extra Legs; Innate Attack (Follow-Up Poison, Contact Agent, Affliction, Paralysis, 10 Minutes, Resistible, HT-3); Night Vision 5; No Fine Manipulators; Blunt Teeth; Wild Animal

Skills: Brawling 13; Climbing 12; Tracking 13; Stealth 10

Thursday 28 May 2015

The Waltrop Campaign / Day 4 / HotT Battle Report

On the 4th day of our Waltrop campaign, the Greeks under the command of Heracleides explored and occupied hexagons 22, 13 and 12, without further resistance. The Aquarians, lead by Spiros, took hexagons 62 and 71. In hexagon 81 they encountered a large group of green creatures and a behemoth.

Spiros said: „Hmmmm.... that's unusual. The light yellow guys are very colourful.“

I played the green creatures:

Warband General (yellow), 9 Warbands (green), 1 Behemoth

My cousin Sven played the Aquarians:

Hero General, 6 Spears, 4 Shooters

I was the defender and placed the terrain.


Since Sven had brought a box full of rocks from Munich and hexagon 81 shows a thin coastline next to the stormy sea, I filled the board with rocks and some tropical forests.

This gave me some trouble deploying my warbands in a battleline.

I placed the behemoth on my right flank. Sven placed his hero general opposite to it.

Although my behemoth didn’t have a chance to win the fight, it attacked the hero and almost chased it off the board, but alas, with the help of an element of spears, the hero finally managed to slay the beast.

clay dino

Taking a picture of the battlefield from above, the remote control cable of my camera got stuck in the tripod and almost damaged it.

canon remote switch

This made me nervous and without thinking too much I attacked an element of spears with my warband general.

green creatures versus aquarians

Both elements had rear support but the spears were also supported by another element of spears on their left side. My combat and tactical factors added up to +4, Sven received +5. I rolled a 1, Sven rolled a 6. I lost the general and Sven won the battle, a well deserved victory for the Aquarians who occupy a large part of the coast of Waltrop now. 

campaign map day 4