Friday, August 26, 2011

Battle for the Lonely Mountain

 So, the start of hopefully a common occurrence, I made the trip over to Brent's house and we threw down some dice with my Smaug, spider, and warg oh my! vs Brent's Unexpected Party. Both of our armies were under 20 models, both have won top painting awards, so at least they look good while they lose....
 Here is Brent's Unexpected Party, I suggested this match-up to finally put his army to their official test. If they cannot go against their book context opponent, then they have no hope at all. As I was coming off playing no games for more than a year being abroad and finishing school, it was a good way to get back in the groove.
 Brent had a pretty standard terrain set up and my faster force advanced in the first couple turns with priority no being an issue. Gandalf cast his normal blinding light and terror aura.
 My spiders and wargs quickly get into position to trap Brent's small force with Gandalf immobilizing Smaug.
 With Smaug looming, Brent took a chance and immobilized the spider queen, thus leaving Smaug free. The photo above is the aftermath of a fire blast in which a couple "iron guard" went poof and Gandalf had to burn some might and fate to survive. The spider queen lost her fight and quickly died to Thorin and his Captain.
 Here is when the fight got messy. My wargs and spiders were doing their job and dying and Smaug won the roll off for a heroic move and quickly pinned Gandalf.

A little history lesson in my luck with Dragons, mind you only Dragons, not Drakes; His main tournament appearance at a Baltimore Games Day, he took 1 wound from a goblin captain after blowing his dice roll. He then proceeds to roll snake eyes for his courage check and without enough might or will to boost, he runs from the battle on his first and only wound. With that in mind we continue the battle report.

Thorin dispatched his spider with a heroic combat and moved to help Gandalf vs Smaug. I rolled the below dice, thus losing the fight with three 1s and one 2.
 Brent then rolls his wounding dice, and scores 4 wounds... great.
 I used 2 fate and saved both while making the other two courage checks successfully for once.
The fight went on for 2 more turns with Smaug dealing out some death but with no might left he lost a fight and took 3 more wounds in which he only passed 2/3 of his courage checks and fled the battle to fight another day! Or die to an arrow from a pesky lake folk archer....

It felt good to roll some dice again and look forward to more games at Brents. After brushing the dust off my books and dice next time the gloves are off and we are playing for keeps with real armies as we play test new armies, scenarios, and such for the upcoming Bilbo's Bash and Adepticon.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Tale of Four Gamers: Chicago Edition

September 1st is going to kick off our Chicago based Tale of Four Gamers. This group formed between us when we wanted to build new armies with Adepticon on the horizon. Without further ado, here is our group.

Brent Sinclair -
Jeremy Williams –
Jamie Welling –
Chris Balke –

Some basic rules:

5 month competition
600 point armies
150 points built and painted by the end of each month.
5th month will be a display board and finishing model bases

Points will be awarded for model quotas finished on time as well as points for game results as we get together to play test the new forces.

Here is my army list for the coming tale.

Moria Miscreants

Cave Drake
2 Goblin Shamans
21 Goblins w/shields
18 Goblin spearmen
3 Goblin spearmen w/shields
21 Goblin prowlers w/bows

So check back on the 1st of September for the first of our model quotas.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

 Welcome to the third and final stop on our Back Lot Tour! Today we pull off the road at the, Sign of the Prancing Pony.

Our Lord of the Rings crew was hanging out after another successful Adepticon tournament back in 2010. We got on the topic of the next Gathering in the Desert event ran by Tim at . I was again offering my time to build him some new terrain and decided to represent a SBG board with ideas from games like Space Hulk and Legends of the Old West. A good old fashion bar fight was in order
 The entire piece measures around 26in by 26in. The walls are made out of foam board and all of the wood work was hand cut balsa wood. The stone work was a Hirstarts kit, the prison tower, that I ignored the directions on and just built a custom building to fit my needs.
 Without having to scratch build chairs, tables and stools, I ordered a lot of those supplies from dollhouse accessories companies. 90% of their products fit the scale needed and pretty much was the icing on the cake. Don't mess with this bartender.

Beer selections include New Belgium's Fire Tire, Guinness, and Budweiser. Chosen as tournament attendants favorites.
 Materials went so far as cutting the back preview image from a Lord of the Rings calender to make this picture. Remember that stone guard house? The roof lifts off and serves as an electrical storage room. All the wires go under the board and hook up inside the building.

Some extra resin fire moldings finished off the fire place.

 With Tim's help he fleshed out the rest of the table for the 2011 Gathering in the Desert Tournament.

This is going to conclude our Back Lot Tour, so keep checking back for all my NEW terrain and army progress. September first is going to kick off Chicago's Adeptus Windy City Forums, Tale of Four Gamers; where four friends lie, cheat, and steal to get a full 600 point Lord of the Rings army built in monthly increments.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Back Lot Tour: The Walls of Minas Tirith

We are back! The Back Lot Tour rolls onto the land of  Minas Tirith.

Way back in the year 2010 my friend Tim over at asked me to make him some terrain for his awesome lord of the rings strategy battle game Indy Grand Tournament, Gathering in the Desert. Terrain has always been a key staple at the event and I had to make sure this was up to par.
 This project was a need to actually use my old warhammer fortress walls that were left wanting paint. I wanted to recreate the gatehouse as that is quite the iconic setting from the movies. The pieces had to be fair for a tournament setting while still being an eye candy board.
 This was the setup for the tournament and it looked pretty fair for either corner or edge deployments. As it turned out, this was one the final board for the last round of the tournament. The central gatehouse turned out to not be fair on all sides and favored one edge to another as an arrow screen for an easy digging up of the artifact.
 The Shadow in the East SBG Indy tournament in Florida took some inspiration from this and changed their fortress to a square format.

 Something I knew from the start was that the extra tree and rock terrain was going to be fall foliage. In my opinion terrain and boards need color variation just like models. Anytime their is a wintery board I cannot say no to it. It is like playing Madden, who doesn't turn on the super blizzard or rain weather options?

That concludes our Back Lot Tour stop in Minas Tirith. Up next we travel North West to the Inn of The Prancing Pony!

Also, some folk up here in Chicagoland are going to be starting a Tale of Four Gamers in which we will be building fresh, 600 point Lord of The Rings armies over five months with updates due on the first of each month. This in preparation for the upcoming 2012 tournament season!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Back Lot Tour: Osgiliath

First off, welcome to my blog, I am the Chef of War and hope you enjoy my hobby projects. I wanted to introduce viewers to some of my previous works before jumping into my newer projects via the Back Lot Tour!

First stop on our tour is the Ruins of Osgiliath. This began on 2005 and was finished in 2006 due to a long time gathering dust in between construction and painting.

Many if not most of my terrain projects are based in The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game and this board was built before my familiarity with our now standard 4x4 foot games. The measurements are around 5x3.5 feet.

This project began as scribbles in a notebook back in high school and turned into my first large scale terrain project. Many factors affected the slow build time, mainly the cutting and laying of the tile road. The buildings with windows and doors started as templates to make foam cutting a lot easier.

Warhammer fans out there can pick out the beastmen head sprues that went into this fountain. Other locations are as gargoyles on the large watch tower building with the buttress supports.

I call this large temple like building the wedding cake. I spent some time at a wedding supply store to pick out columns and all sort of short cut architecture pieces; the result being this open ruins.

I do not know what came first, the idea to make this a board for the strategy battle game or just something to use those book ends that came with the Fellowship of the Ring extended edition. Either way, 2 molds later I had one of the many bridges that dot the city.

Unfortunately this board does not make for very different games as mostly it comes down to fighting on the bridges if you do not change deployment zones from your standard back edge.

That is it for now, I hope you liked the terrain, these Back Lot Tours will be updated quiet frequently as I come up to speed with current projects.

Check back for our next stop on the Walls of Minas Tirith!

Under construction: Check back soon!
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