Saturday, February 25, 2017


Have received many questions over the years regarding the backdrop seen on this blog. Don't know why, but it never occurred to me before to devote a post to it.

The Lemax 34973 is a pretty piece. It used to be quite cost effective too. At this time however they seem to be selling for over 30USD each. Perhaps they are out of production?

The backdrop is made of nice thick card stock and comes rolled in a tube.

As you can see from the photo above, I cut a couple of them in half horizontally. This gives me 16 feet of backdrop that will suit most purposes. 

There is one piece left intact for those times there is a very tall (miniature figurely speaking !) object to be photographed.

Behind the scenes. Top to bottom. 2x4 holding up backdrop, rubberized flooring, saves figures when dropped, 4x8 chipboard, more 2x4's creating storage space, bookcase lain horizontally to form table base.

The backdrops are either secured right to the games table with push pins,
Secured by push pins into the chipboard table top

O for smaller set ups simply stood between a 2x4 behind and any convenient buildings in front. Such items can be seen in the photo.

On table top, 2x4 backing, held upright by dice tower barely seen right.

The tabletop pictured is a 4 foot by 4 foot set up. The town comes in at 3x3 making it perfect for Two Hour Wargames default encounter deployments. Unless actively writing I will usually go with 4x4, 4x6, or 4x8 playing surfaces. 
With larger boards it is more likely that one to two sides of the table will have the push pin method in place, securing the backdrop to either the 4x8 chipboard base table top, or into terrain squares if those are in use.

Now there are much nicer backdrops out there. Some are commercially available, but most seem to be home crafted creations. With commercial offerings one always has to be on the look out for anachronisms, such as telephone wires, railways, and any industrial elements, if the backdrop is to server a number of periods.

Folks who hand paint their backdrops invariably seem to have done sterling work, and of course such backdrops match their tabletops well.

Many of the backdrops outhere will give a better feeling of distance these Lemax items. This illusion is created by displaying terrain fading out into the distance, as opposed to the very stark table edge/sky horizon present here.

However Lemax backdrops were:
1. Readily available when I needed a backdrop.
2. Inexpensive at the time.
3. Ready to use right out of the tube.

With that trifecta in play, cheap and cheerful beat out aesthetics.

What sort of backdrops do you all use?

Wtih a tip of the hat and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Red Means Run.

"Red means run, Son.
Numbers add up to nothing"-

Powderfinger by Neil Young

  Thought I'd play a little game to prove that a single figure would be no match if outnumbered four to one. 

A Rep 5, AC 2, Witch Hunter is accosted by four Rep 4, AC 2 naer do wells.

Played four times.

The man is not a Warrior Hero, nor even a Star.

Four times he cut through the thugs with ease.

No special traits to help him.

No disciplines on which to rely.

There were purposely not a many tactical options. The idea was to see what would happen when two such disparate forces met in narro confines.

Just plain luck of the dice.

By the fifth game luck had deserted him.

Not sure if there is any conclusion to be drawn from all of this.

Other than the obvious gamer caveat that its always good to be lucky, so long as one doesn't come to depend on it.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Tatort Altengard: WIP


Changed things around and added more buildings

Original photos below:

It's More of a Guideline Really

Following on from Guan Yu's troubles, a Giant in search of breakfast has wandered into Dwarven lands...

The Giant is Rep 7, AC 6, Hits 5, and with the traits; Artillery, and Terror, he is an apex Big Bad.

 So will counting him as two figures be enough? 

Truth is it probably wouldn't. Part of the equation must be not only how many enemy should a powerful character spawn from one PEF, but also how many PEF's are likely to resolve into enemies over the course of a game.

In this instance the Dwarves only managed to get two fighters into play.

And the Giant was happy to play King of the Hill.

And the Dwarves had to come and get him.

Have I mentioned that the Artillery trait allows the Giant to toss stones?

With a Rep of 7 he's a fair shot too.

Cheeky little Dwarf.

He has sand, and that's a fact.

True grit.

Sometimes grit ain't enough.

A quick little game that highlights the short coming of any points system.
  • Terrain will be factor.
  • Luck of the dice will be a factor.
  • Relative position of friendlies and enemies across the table top will be a factor.
  • Obviously perhaps, player skill will be a factor, although for many that may be the point of the exercise.
So very many variables.

Specific to THW's, one Star is not necessary equal to another, and the same goes for grunts. 

And yet there must be some system with which to set things in motion.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Guan Yu: How do you value a Warrior Hero?

Just a quick game today, one of series, to evaluate just how many regular warriors it takes to fight a Warrior Hero on something like equal terms.

In the first edition of Warrior Heroes: Armies and Adventures I cooked up a formula for  a figure's Combat Value, based on its stats, with varied degrees of emphasis on each. It's a bother to calculate and not a very good yardstick anyway.

So looking for simpler solution. I start with the basics. A single Warrior Hero looking for trouble, using the "How Many of Them are There" mechanics from Swordplay. Basically the game doesn't care if you are a toddler or demi-god, you count as 1 figure, and you will meet a number of enemy figures based on that value, "1".

Guan Yu, a Rep 5 Warrior Hero, has heard rumors that a neighboring faction is scouting his master's land.

A quick look around shows three Possible Enemy Forces...


Guan Yu rides towards the nearest.

It turns out to be two Rep 4 enemy horsemen. They cautiously approach our Hero.

Knowing nothing of caution, Guan Yu charges!

He swings at the leftmost enemy with the Green Dragon Crescent Blade,

And brings his man down.

Don't mind the White Wolf. He is just a place marker for my tests.

As Guan Yu rides past his foes, he sees the other two PEF's are naught but a single horse bowman.

Between his foes now, Guan Yu receives arrow after arrow with no ill effect*.

Gaun Yu rides down the bowman.

Siezing his chance, the enemy horseman charges Guan Yu from behind!

Luck is with our Hero, he turns in time and launches a charge of his own.

In  moments its over.

Three men tried, and three men died.

Guan Yu!

*One arrow not only hit its mark but scored an Out of the Fight. Had Guan Yu not had the advantage of Hero Dice (aka Star Power IIRC), or had those dice rolls been unlucky, the archer would have put him down.

Not terribly surprised that a Warrior Hero could handle three to one odds with little trouble. As always the dice could have been against him, in which case three would have been more than enough, but on average...

What with Star Power, and Disciplines, let alone their tendency to have high Rep and Amour values, Warrior Heroes are a tough opponent as are some of the harder monsters/Big Bads who often take several hits to kill. So...

Upping the ante next time.


Partway through the second game. A Warrior Hero is now worth 2 regular figures, rather than one. A simple change that has been more effective than I imagined.

Guan Yu is now battling four cavalrymen and three horse bowmen. It's a swirling melee in which has so far only seen the loss of one cavalryman, and one of Guan Yu's Hero Dice.


Doing his best impression of a pin cushion, Guan Yu is finally brought out of the fight by an arrow. This one actually scored Obviously Dead, but our Hero was able to use his very last Hero Dice to avoid death and end up Out of the Fight instead.

So two is the magic number going forward, although this still needs plenty of other Encounter aspects that need testing.  So no shortage of games to try this out during.

BTW Guan Yu is a beautifully painted miniature from Dragon Painting Service. The have an Ebay store, but in this instance I simply emailed them asking if they had any figures suitable for the Heroes in the Luo Guanzhong's Three Kingdoms. Much to my delight they had.

The other figures are from Alternative Armies, and my good friends there also handled the painting for me.

Warrior Heroes: New Dawn does not have any direct connexion with Three Kingdoms. There is a psuedo Han country in the game world, which will appear in the third volume army lists.

That's all for now and thanks for stopping by!