Saturday, April 22, 2017

Inspiration for Tékumel - 1000+ Followers!


Just topped 1000 Followers on my "Inspiration for Tékumel" boards on Pinterest. Yay! See the appropriate sideboard in the righthand margin of this page. Now, if only 100% of them were interested in Tékumel, think of that!

I should also note that I recently watched a program that suggested that "followers", "likes", etc are how the Social Media companies get us hooked on their virtual acid. Something to be aware of! :-0

My latest Pinterest board is for colour palettes that I think will be useful in coming up with painting schemes for my Tékumel miniatures.



Saturday, March 11, 2017

Mastery of Time and Space!



I've blogged about these before. Lately I've been working on A Band of Joyous Heroes (BOJH) again, so here I am again with some refinements.

I like to use these chopsticks to measure Speed and Distance in some of my games. 

In BOJH movement is continuous unless a figure stops deliberately (ie. to shoot its bow) or involuntarily due to terrain or some other effect. Activation is only required to initiate further movement or perform certain actions; a moving figure will continue to move without requiring activation. The Initiative process governs the turn sequence and determines when continuous movement (CM) occurs and when there is the opportunity to activate figures. I will cover that process in another post. It may happen that you will be struggling to load your crossbow and fire while the messenger runs steadily out of your line of sight. Whether you get a chance to fire depends on how the Initiative works out.

A figure under CM moves at a speed one increment slower than when it was activated. There are five speed and distance increments: DS1 to DS5. These are described below:

DS1 uses the top two(2) small "knuckles" of the chopstick. This is used to represent crawling speed or something very slow like a giant slug or Gelatinous Cube. Actual measurement: 32mm (1.25"). It is the distance one can strike with a polearm such as a naginata or yari. 

DS2 uses the top four(4) "knuckles". This is used to represent a cautious advance or perhaps the pace of an elder walking with a cane. Actual measurement: 65mm (slightly over 2.5"). 

DS3 uses the long, straight section at the bottom. This is typical walking speed and easy throwing distance for something like a baseball. Or a shuriken! Actual measurement: 140mm (5.5"). 

DS4 uses the full length of the chopstick. This is typical running speed and the range I use for throwing things like javelins. It is short range for archery. Actual measurement: 237mm (9-5/16"). I apply a -1 shooting penalty for every DS4 increment beyond the first, out to the range of the weapon. A powerful bow might have a range of 4DS4, meaning it can target figures out to four times the length of the stick. Creatures that move more swiftly than humans may use multiples of DS4 (typically) to measure their movement.

DS5 is actually the same as DS1 in terms of distance but very fast in terms of speed. This represents the strike of a venomous serpent or skilled martial artist.

Regarding the source, I've ordered from these guys several times and the service has been consistently good. Shipping is slow however...it is Economy Service, afterall!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Inspiration for Tékumel - 800+ Followers! :-)

Just topped 800 Followers on my "Inspiration for Tekumel" boards on Pinterest. Woo Hoo! See the appropriate sideboard in the righthand margin of this page. Now, of course, not all are interested in Tékumel. Perhaps it is safe to say that most are not. But at least there is the chance they now know a little bit more about Professor Barker's creation than they once did. Perhaps they will be inspired to explore his world a little further...

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

My Tékumel Bestiary (2): the Nshé and the Hlu'ún


A Nshé, in spherical form.

The Nshé is a sorcerous creation, able to assume a variety of forms. Shown above is its spherical form, one ideal for engulfing its prey. It is an oversized marble called a "soap bubble" which I found in a local game store for about $2 CDN.

I'm going to have to keep my eyes open for other transparent or translucent figures: seven foot tall humanoids, serpents and flat sheets are mentioned as alternative forms, though I am sure the list is more extensive than that.


A Hlu'ún.

A Pathfinder Miniature Mothman makes a perfect Hlu'ún, at least in my opinion anyway. I've been able to find them on ebay at reasonable prices, and one doesn't need that many anyway.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Dark Passage: The Pirate Lords of Háida Pakála


GW Tryanid Carnifex heads


GW Tyranid Hive Tyrant heads


GW Lizardmen Bastiladon (L) 
and Tyranid Exocrine (R) heads




GW Tyranid Tyrannofex (L) and Hive Crone (R) heads


GW Tyranid Tyrannofex heads 
(single variant shown twice)


GW Imperial War Manticore heads


GW High Elf Flamespyre Phoenix heads


GW Lizardmen Stegadon heads

Recently I started working on something I have been thinking of doing for a while. That is, taking bits from existing plastic kits and using them to make faction specific conversions to my Khmer galley and war canoe models. The intent was, and still is, to get proper Khmer and Cham prow and stern posts done. That is just taking a little longer than I had hoped. Still on "the list" though!

Anyway, a little while ago I picked up the heads shown below, sold as bits from a couple of ebay sellers. Given that I only needed the heads, why should I buy the whole kit?!

I have both full versions and cut-down hulls for both the galleys and war canoe models. The galley is 12" long and the war canoe 8".


Full and cut-down galleys

Looking at the bits available, I thought different ones would be suitable for various factions. One faction I am particularly interested in is the Pirate Lords of Háida Pakála. I particularly like the idea of using the GW Tyranid heads with the Háida Pakálan warships. My second choice would be to use them with the Tsolei Islander vessels, but I have found an alternative for them.

Below are the various heads shown blue tacked onto the galley and war canoe hulls. The idea of course would be to use greenstuff (or similar) to build up the hulls to suit. I think that the Tryranid heads make quite fearsome figureheads. Just the sort of thing the Pirate Lords would want!


Exocrine head on a war canoe



Two different Hive Tyrant heads 
on the war canoe


Carnifex head (variant 1)


Carnifex head (variant 2) - note poison sacks!


Carnifex head (variant 3)


Carnifex head (variant 3) 
shown from a different angle


Tyrannofex head shown on galley


Hive Crone head on galley



Hive Crone head on cut-down galley



Tyrannofex head 
shown on cut-down galley



Tyrannofex head variant
on cut-down galley

I mentioned the Islands of Tsolei. My thinking with these is to use GW Lizardmen heads. I've shown the Stegadon heads below, attached to cut-down galleys. I'm also thinking that Saurus Warrior and Temple Guard heads might suffice for the war canoes but don't yet have any to test the idea.



Stegadon head variants
on cut-down galley

Lastly, I think that the War Manticore and Phoenix heads are well suited for use in more civilized navies. So I am assigning them to the Tsolyáni navy.



War Manticore head variants
on cut-down galley


Phoenix head on full galley

In the next part, I'll describe some of the wilder ideas I have for these vessels for use with my Dark Passage naval skirmish rules.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Best Kept Secrets: Black Tree Designs' Fantasy Saracens


HM1230 - Saracen Elite Guards

Black Tree Design is having a sale, which has prompted me to post this in a bit of a rush.

Extended until Sept 11th, 2016. 

Historical and Fantasy Infantry 50% off. 
Giant Monsters 30% off. 
Doctor Who 30% off.

Why the rush?

Because I believe that Black Tree Designs' Fantasy Saracens make excellent proxy Salarvyáni, that's why! And if you agree, you might want to take advantage of the sale...

The figures are scaled slightly larger than our own, but not overly so IMO. I'm not sure how well they fit weapon and armour-wise with the army book descriptions. My book has gone on walkabout and is currently "lost" - possibly forever. A replacement is being sourced. Until then all I can say is "They look good to me"! 

They are bearded. Check. The poses are nicely varied. Check. The weapons are suitable. Check. The armour is suitably exotic, as are the shields. Check. (and we have variant shields available if required...)

The Palace Guards, shown below, appear to have an interesting "push-knife and shield" combination. See the detail pictures. One could use them that way or snip the blade off and use a regular shield.


HM1233 - Saracen Palace Guards


Shield Detail


Detail: Push-knife or plug?


HM1228 - Saracen Slave Guards


...with buckler.

The so-called "Slave Guards" need not actually be slaves for our purposes, merely lower class troops. Light infantry spearmen as were at the Battle of Ry, if memory serves.

The command packs have flags, which are coincidentally not bad for Salarvyáni. I'm afraid I botched the pics and put the standard bearers in the wrong packs. Keeping that in mind, the banner from pack HM1229 (shown broken in the bottom pic) has Arabic writing on it and so will need either substitution or conversion.

I found some Games Workshop Dark Elf bits on ebay that I thought worked well, and are shown below.


HM1229 - Saracen Command II


HM1233 - Saracen Command III


...with Dark Elf banner.


...other Dark Elf weapons.

Lastly, as I am going on about Salarvyáni I ought to remind you of these Scotia Grendel axemen. I may have blogged about these guys before. They get checks for beards, and nice variety of poses. The weapons would be ridiculously over-sized in metal, but made from chlén hide would not be as heavy as they look!


Scotia Grendel's "Men of the East"

Credit where credit is due: I did not paint the Serqu trooper in the pics above. He was done by one of Eureka's in-house painters IIRC. Name unknown.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Black Hoods of Lord Hrú'ú






I've been putting together a box of Frostgrave cultists to act as "Black Hoods" - agents for the Temple of  Hrú'ú.

I have to say that this set is really nice! So far I've put together four with crossbows and four with 2-handed mauls. Also a guy with a 2-handed sword from the other Frostgrave set. This guy I'm converting so he is pointing with his left hand. There is also a guy with a lantern (which also comes from the first Frostgrave box). There are twenty figures in the box. I am using the fully hooded heads and there are just enough to do that, although they are not all the same style. That is fine though, as Lord  Hrú'ú likes a bit (a lot!) of variety! The plan is to do two guys standing on guard, but not with the spears that came in the box...I am going to look at using Shen halberds. 

I am very impressed by this set. It even comes with some nice thin round bases. There are four body poses: standing, running forward, action right and action left. The main failing I can see is that the left arms all have hands which are not in a gripping pose. I would like to do some two weapon guys and will have to do some converting to get that. Not sure if I'm going to give these guys shields. I want a couple of more boxes though! 

The plan is to paint them black and purple. Black hoods - hence the name - with purple face masks. Oh, the other failing is that they are wearing baggy pantaloons. This may or may not be an issue to you. Myself, I am past bothering about little details like that. There are so many anomalies in the canon that one just has to "go with the flow" and work with what you've got.