Saturday, 10 March 2018

The Order of the Tower

I've not been idol over the last few weeks but a lack of bases and running out of sculpting materials (and an infuriating shortage of replacements from my supplier!) has slowed things down considerably.

I have been working on some Elves, Orcs and a new, larger Fire Grub warrior which all just need a coat of paint before being added to my mini campaign but I thought I'd show a few concepts of a new force I'm tinkering with, The Order of the Tower.

The Order of the Tower are a sect of templar knights who inhabit the great fortress monastery known as the Tower of the Dawn. Formed over a thousand years ago, they worship the scholar god Hallador and have collected within their walled abode, a library that rivals even the greatest of the Elven cities.

The Tower of the Dawn lies high in the Axeblade Mountains near the human settlement of Pine Cliff and is a wonder to behold. Rising from a spur of rock to a height of over three hundred feet, the tower is a dazzling white with numerous small windows dotting its exterior and can only be accessed by a single massive door after crossing a narrow bridge.

The terrible events of The Death saw The Tower of the Dawn shaken but due to a combination of Dwarven building and the prayers of its inhabitants, it stood firm against the worst the cataclysm could throw at it.

In the ensuing centuries, The Order has sought to defend the knowledge of the past and regularly sends out parties to trade for books, tech and news from throughout the region. They are also the sworn protectors of Pine Cliff and the small settlement is intensely loyal to inhabitants of the Tower and regularly send rangers with Order expeditions to provide extra protection in the dangerous region.

The Templars of The Order of the Tower wear extremely heavy armour and are experts in defensive warfare as their key role is to defend The Tower from harm. Their distinctive helms and thick plate is richly decorated in crenellations and their experience shows as The Tower has never been breached by any foe.

Templar of the Order of the Tower

Armed with heavy Runespears and tower shields, the Templars will lock shields when forced to fight outside their monastery home and present a wall of spears toward their foe. The Runespear is a modified version of the Elven Powerlance and can issue blasts of Earthpower over considerable distances and many an unsuspecting foe has met their fate on the receiving end of these powerful but rare weapons.

Most of the Templars are doughty men in their fifties, having spent decades in the library and perfecting their defensive martial skills, they are a beacon of order and civilisation in a brutal world and will defend their home with unswerving loyalty.

The current leader of The Order is Verence Torr, a venerable scholar and powerful cleric who has spent almost eighty years in the service of the Tower and its library. Although he rarely ventures out of The Tower of the Dawn these days, when he does Grand Master Verence is a force to be reckoned with as his skill and knowledge of the Lore of Earthpower makes him a terrifying opponent to face in the field of battle.

 Grand Master Verence Torr

The Order is not great in number with only about 80 Templars supported by a similar number of retainers but every year one or two new members will join and become Questors. 

The Questors are new members of The Order and are tasked with recovering valuable knowledge, lost tomes and ancient tech from the border regions of The Axeblade Mountains and small groups led by a Questor are a relatively common sight.

  Knight Questor of The Order of the Tower

Unlike other Templars, The Questors fight with longswords and shields and are more maneuverable than their heavily armoured brethren and will often lead militia groups from Pine Cliff to drive off monstrous creatures or venture out into the wilderness in search of lost caches.

The Order has good relations with the Dwarven Holds that neighbour it as the Dwarves respect the search for knowledge and Dwarven scholars often visit the great library to research lostech of the past. Similarly, select members of The Order, including Verence are granted access to the Dwarves own libraries, an honour which few non-dwarves have ever seen.

The Order has several small outposts around the Axeblades with the best known being Ivy Tower, a squat fortification that lies in a secluded valley next to the River Gorm, south of the great Dwarven fortification, Dur Zamor.

The Elves, especially the followers of The Spider God, have time and again sought to breach the defences of The Tower of the Dawn in order to plunder it's collection of arcane tomes but neither might of arms or cunning has met with success as the Order knows what the improper use of knowledge can result in.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Blog Revamping

Morning folks!

Well I seem to have hit a burst of creativity as lots of bits and bobs are getting worked on for several projects at once.

Stirrings on the Border

From the mists of time, my CLASSIC LEVIATHAN BLOG  has roared back into life with musings on the wargame that I just can't move on from, Leviathan!

I plan on using it to cover all aspects of the old Grendel game including warband building, painting collecting and musings over the original game along with all the rules that were missing for stuff like Mk2 Wargolems and stuff and as an outlet for my urge to paint some 28mm scale armies.

Boar Company Dwarf

Meanwhile here on Somewhere on the Border, I've culled some of the pointless blog posts and will be concentrating on getting more stuff sculpted and painted as well as background and all manner of random bits and bobs to do with my own interpretation of Aeroth.

As you may have noticed, my version is a rather more stylised affair with cartoony characters which fits my sculpting style and there's a deal more high tech gubbins with Golems, artificial lifeforms powered by magitech. Similarly, things have moved on from the apocalyptic events of The Death and societies are beginning to develop once again. Even the races are changed from Leviathan.

I think I will need to put together a primer covering the world, it's inhabitants and locations as well as a bit of background. I've got it all floating around in my head at present but really need to get it put to page so I can make sense of it all.

I plan on spending this coming week compiling a load of artwork to showcase the races of Aeroth before putting together a guide to the world and then the border region where most of the action takes place.

I am also hoping to start playing the Somewhere on the Border campaign that I've touched on a few times in the past and as my sculpts get painted, new warbands, creatures and characters will emerge to be added to the mix.

Hopefully this all means that there will be regular updates to the blog here and over on Leviathan as I work my way through it all so watch this space!

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Stirrings on Aeroth

Morning folks!

It's been absolutely ages since I posted anything here but that's about to change as I've finally had chance to paint up an assortment of sculpts that I've had lying around for ages!

First, there's Sir Roderick and his party of adventurers:

 Kes, Sir Roderick, Angelo and Siff

Sir Roderick is a Knight of the Eternal Light on a quest to explore the frontier region of the Axeblade Mountains and having wintered in Pinecliff has sought passage through the Dwarven protectorate and has ventured out into the border region along with his trusted companions.

Sir Roderick, Knight of the Eternal Light

Roderick is accompanied by Kes Westlake, his squire, Angelo Santiago a pugilist of some renown and Siff Boomhauser, a gunsmith in search of the biggest of game to hunt.

Next up, there's Svette Flintsdottir, a Technomancer who is currently leading a Guild team into the border on a hunt for rare materials. She is accompanied by a bodyguard of Golems of her own design.

 Svette with Number 1

I've got about a dozen assorted Golems to paint of a mixture of sizes and will be adding some apprentices and Guilders as I get the chance.

Finally, I've got a rogue Golem which will be reinforced by several more once I have them painted.

Golem 13

Built in centuries past, Rogue Golems have their CPU crystal warped by wilde magic, battle damage or any one of a number of reasons but the result is a unpredictable and dangerous Golem which are a menace to all they encounter. 

It is quite common for these Rogues to group together to scavenge for parts and are known to raid Dwarven settlements for recruits too.

Hopefully I'll manage to get some more bits and bobs put together in the next week or so and will run a small skirmish between Sir Roderick and assorted villains or the Technomancer Guilders mixing it up with the Rogue Golems!

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Game Developers Diary Part 1


I thought I'd start a bit of a log as I explore my attempts of turning the Leviathan rules into a fully playable system for the sort of setting that Aeroth is developing into.

Last year I did some serious playtesting of the rules as they were and found that Leviathan had the makings of a really good game but it had several issues which needed some serious work.

The main problem I had with it was that it really needed more playtesting before it was released as there are several concepts which were not explained (I'm talking about you Tail Spikes!) and similarly, it felt like it couldn't make up it's mind what sort of game it was. Scale wise, it better suited skirmish gaming but the whole flavour of the rules are geared to mass battle.

Orc Concepts

Over the last couple of months, between moving house and work, I've spent a fair amount of time looking at my idea of what Aeroth should look like and have settled on something more like Warmachine or Hordes. Gone are the days when everyone wields bows. Aeroth is a post apocalyptic magitech world so the Orcish Horde will need blackpowder weaponry, cannon and rockets whilst the Elves are going to be even more high tech with Power Lances and a plethora of interesting equipment!

Thunderhammer Battletank

I suspect that this has stemmed from my obsession with the Dwarves as their steampunk army design, reliant on tanks, artillery and wargolems really made them stand out against the other races. With this in mind, I've been tweaking both background and rules to fit my needs.

There will be plenty of opportunity to play skirmishes where sword and axe are still vital gear but I want to move larger scale engagements into a more industrial era.

Therefore, I've gone back to re-examine Leviathan and have found that with a bit of tweaking, alterations and bodging, I have the basics of a decent system that should be able to cover anything from a platoon to company level game in approximately 15mm scale.

Orcish Wartower

At present, I'm looking at the armylists to see what alterations I need to do to get the sort of units that I want. For example, at present, an Orc force needs to have a minimum of one Orc infantry squad and two Goblin infantry squads as well as one Orc character. With aforementioned tweaking, I've developed a platoon structure that requires two units of Orc infantry and an Orc character to lead them but gives options to reinforce it, in part inspired by the old Epic 40k game.

Each army will have access to several different platoons, independent formations and characters that will be in keeping with the setting that I'm developing. I'm also looking at the stats of the assorted units as Orcs currently seem a bit feeble in close combat as they are outmatched both in Offensive Combat, Power and Toughness by the Dwarves. Part of the issue is that I need to up the size of Orc units to compensate but I have found the process rather enlightening and entertaining!

I plan on carrying out several rounds of playtesting to see how the rules work as is, what needs working on and so on before reworking things and playtesting again. I suspect that it's going to take at least six months before I'm totally happy with the rules and that the completed set will differ quite a bit from how they look now but that's part of the fun.

At the same time, I'll be trying to tie down the setting and draw up some more concept art and write down lots of background for the assorted forces.

Needless to say, I suspect that I'm going to have a very busy time of things but it will mean that I will be posting all manner of random stuff here.

Anyhoo, enough of my ramblings for today! I hope to add another entry tomorrow with further development gubbins.

All the best!

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Developing Aeroth


Long time no post!

Well I've moved house and finally got internet access again which is rather a relief as all this time with no hobby has been rather stressful. Still I have spent quite a considerable time perusing my battered copy of Leviathan and really looking at the sort of setting I want the world of Aeroth to be and have come to several conclusions.

First up, the setting itself needs a fairly major shake up. I have moved away from the rather traditional fantasy setting into something a bit more science-fantasy / steampunk /dieselpunk / post apocalyptic mash. Similarly the rules I have been developing are morphing into something of a mish mash of company level combined arms with a heavy dose of big stompy monsters and steampowered tech!

I've also realised that I need to develop several different sets of rules or at least make use of several sets of pre-existing rules to cover the scope of the world of Aeroth as it develops. For example small skirmishes featuring the Boar Company need a different ruleset than a meeting engagement between an Orcish warband and Elven host. At the same time, I want to feature fabulous flying machines battling aerial monsters and even massive battles!

Understandably, one ruleset to rule them all just isn't going to do the job so I've been ransacking my rulebook collection for an assortment of types of game and hope to post some regular battle reports featuring a good half dozen different systems and mods of my own design.

Sadly at present my gaming table is buried under a mountain of books and boxes but I hope to start regular updates of playtests, setting ponderings and hopefully some painted miniatures too!

In the meantime, All the best!

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Stirrings From Aeroth

It had been over a year since the Boar Company had last seen action when Grimli led his stalwart troops against their longtime foe, Marik Goldhelm.

Once again, Marik had slipped through their fingers and the very thought made Grimli bristle with anger. They had lost several stalwart companions on that fateful day both to the toxic surroundings of the North Woods and at the hands of the rogue sorcerers black powers.

The North Woods can be deadly

Since then, things had been quiet with the Boar Company carrying their dead and wounded back to the great frontier fortress of Dur Zamor before once again venturing out into the frontier country in search of Marik.

True to form, Marik had vanished without a trace and rumour has been circulating that he met a sticky end some months back at the hands of a Horned Folk warband. Grimli grunted sourly at the thought. There was no way that the cursed rogue had died so easily. The Boar Company had sworn a mighty oath over the graves of their fallen kin that they would not stop until Marik was brought low by fine Dwarven steel.

Unfortunately, the Orcish brutes who had survived the massacre of Krull's winter encampment were on the warpath again and the Boar Company had been forced to suspend their search for Marik to carry out their duty to their lords and defend the frontier from all foes.

The Orcs continue to be a problem but the Dwarves have erected several frontier forts, overlooking the Endless Plains and from these fortifications, bands of warriors have time and time again harried the Orcish forces and rained down fire from their mighty gun batteries.

With reinforcements, the Boar Company are once again setting out into the wilderness in search of their foe and this time, there will be a reckoning.

Well! I can't believe it's been over six months since I posted here! I've been so busy with other projects that the adventures of the stoic Dwarves somewhere on the border have been overlooked. I plan on remedying this as soon as possible but I am moving house at present so being able to do anything hobby related is proving to be quite a challenge!

Lightning strike on the Endless Plains as seen from the Old Road

Still, I have got several sculpts (including something very big) ready for paint and just need to get some time to sit down and get them painted before carrying on the saga of The Boar Company.

Hopefully I'll get chance to play out a game or two with Marik meeting some sort of justice but I suspect the sneaky toerag will escape to bedevil the frontier in the future. I am also hoping to introduce my fresh take on some of the denizens of the frontier, namely the Orcs, or Gorathians as they are becoming known.

I am also developing some ideas for the inhabitants of Pinecliff, the nearest Human settlement to the goings on on the border so watch this space!

In the meantime, All the best!

Monday, 2 January 2017

Boar Company Outrider


Well it's 2017 and I have finally finished another couple of figures for my Aeroth project in the form of a Boar Company Outrider and a second Cavern Dweller:


Patrolling the high mesas of the Dwarven territories is very hard on even the sturdiest of Dwarven machines so they make use of Razorback mounted cavalry which act as the eyes and ears of some of the independent companies that roam the wilds and protect the borders from marauding Goblin tribes, Orcish Horde expeditions and all manner of dangerous beasts.

 An Outrider encounters a pair of Cavern Dwellers

Sturdy, tough and belligerent, Razorbacks are perfectly matched to their Dwarven riders who are in turn fiercely loyal to their porcine mounts. In combat the rider will goad their mount into a ferocious, squealing charge whilst crouching behind their bladed lance. If the initial impact of half a ton of pig and it's fierce tusks doesn't finish the job, the riders fierce lance will.

Used to operating independently for long periods of time, the Outrider is usually a grizzled veteran of the border wars who wants to spend time exploring and defending their homeland from all comers. Foraging off the land, these hardy souls and their mounts can stay in the field for much longer than the armoured vehicles of the Dwarven Holds in the harshest of terrain.

Cavern Dwellers

I'm slowly putting together a Cavern Dweller warband and have one or two more part painted which will hopefully allow me to field some more interesting forces against my Boar Company from time to time...

I'm actually having a bit of a ponder about Aeroth in general as I am finding it moving away from a post apocalyptic fantasy setting to incorporate elements of science fantasy. For example, the Dwarven holds are going to be fielding battle armour, war golems and all manner of steam powered tech whilst the Elves are getting a complete redesign and even the Orcish horde have been given some much needed re-evaluation. 

Hopefully over the course of 2017 I will be able to flesh things out a bit but in the meantime, All the Best!