Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Somewhere on the Border: The Boar Company Ride Again!

Hi!

Well I have just played out the first game using my Boar company in many moons and I thought I would post a little bit of a report here!

I have been using Song of Blades as my rules of choice for the last few years and the game played out using them with a few minor modifications.

The Boar Company have wintered in the frontier outpost of Dur Zamor while carrying out occasional forays into the high mesa country that borders the Barren Steppes keeping the region free of Orcish foraging parties sent from the grim fastness of Krull's winter encampment.

The Axeblades in Winter

With the coming of the spring, the companies scouts have spotted a warband of Orcish warriors accompanied by the notorious human renegade sorcerer, Marik Goldhelm near a Dwarven Black Water storage facility.

The company have been despatched to find out what mischief Marik is up to and Grimli is determined to deal with Marik permanently but upon arrival at the boxy structure, the Dwarves find nothing amiss so settle in to await the arrival of their foe.

They do not have long to wait as from the fungus forest to the East, guttural cries can be heard and soon, several groups of Orcs emerge, their foul breath steaming in the cold morning air. With bellows of surprise, the Orcs begin to lumber forward towards the Dwarven encampment and battle is joined!

At this point I had hoped to include lots of photos of the skirmish but discovered that only a few turned out so bear with me!

The Orcs had deployed in several groups to the East and South with their line being anchored by a grunting and scarred Great Orc with two groups of warriors, each led by a Khan in the centre. To their flank, a unit of Orcish archers skulked amongst the Fungal forest accompanied by a Goblin Sneak.

Of Marik, there was no sign until Grimli spotted him at the far corner of the battlefield accompanied by a number of underlings.

Marik and Underlings

Seeing the Orcish intention was to capture or destroy the Black Water storage tank, Grimli had to bite angrily on his beard and order his troops to defend the position. Revenge would come later. 

The Dwarven battleline centred around the facility itself with the Boar company swordsmen led by Grimli to one side and the hunter squad making a dash for the ramp up to the roof in the centre and Gunnar Demonbane and the Wildling on the far flank.

On the side of the battlefield closest to Marik, stood the companies Battlerager, Ragnar Ironhelm with the companies mascot, Piglet. Maybe he could bring Marik to bear...

Gamewise, the Orcs seized the initiative and poured into the clearing intent on coming to grips with the Dwarven troopers. The Great Orc got perplexed and spent much of the game doing not much as can be seen here:

Dur!

The Dwarven line marched forward and met the Orcs in front of the Black Water tank and the battle was to rage back and forth here for much of the game. The Wildling proved its worth by piling in early and flattening a couple of Orcs before the Orc Khan floored him and pausing only to run him through before hurling himself at Grimli.

Combat heats up around the Black Water storage tank

On the flanks the hunters climbed onto the roof of the tank but poor activation rolls meant that they did so too late on in the battle to do much more than watch.

Ragnar and some angry Orcs...

The Orcish archers spent a lot of time shooting at the Dwarves as they approached but to little effect as their crude arrows simply bounced off the thick Dwarven plate, at some points it would force back a Dwarf or knock him off his feet but the archery just couldn't do any damage.

The Battlerager, Ragnar and Piglet had set off to get Marik but the wily sorcerer kept him at arms length with a barrage of bolts of raw Earthpower which, while not doing much damage, did stop him from getting within axe reach of the renegade.

It was at this point I called it a day as I found things were beginning to bog down a bit, the combat around the Black Water tank had ground on for several turns with both sides bring pushed back and forth but no casualties being caused while the shooting was so ineffectual that I gave up.

I think the problem is that Song of Blades is a good, fast and simple little game but I keep finding the combat a bit too simple and a bit too difficult to really do much more than push the two opponents about. Similarly ranges of shooting is far too short for my liking and its loosing a bit of the fun factor for me.

Therefore, I am going to be taking the opportunity to look for another ruleset that better represents the sort of game I want to play. I am also thinking of retiring my existing Boar Company and sculpting up some replacements which better fit the world I am building for them!

I really want to do some steampunk style Dwarves so watch this space!

All the best!

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Mapping Aeroth

Hi!

I thought I should kick things off with a bit of a map of the world I have been developing over the last couple of years to give folks an idea of the landmass, locations and so on!

Aeroth

Aeroth Locations

Ironwall Mountains.
A mountain range running from the Sea of Storms in the North West and curving South and East. Provides a natural barrier between the barbarian Northlands and the most Westerly border of the Endless Plains.

Axeblade Mountains
A massive range of mountains that borders the Eastern Elven Domains. Consisting of mighty granite peaks the Ironwall Mountains are rumored to still have small colonies of Harpies living high amongst their most isolated peaks.

Axebite Pass
The only navigable pass between the Barren Steppes and the Elven lands to the West. Scene of almost constant warfare over the centuries as the Orcish hordes try to force the pass.
Site of the Great Wall. A mighty fortification constructed by the Dwarves that spans the gap and incorporates two huge fortresses built into the mountains on either side of the pass.

Breakheart Pass
One of several passes leading between the Elven Domains and the Barren Steppes. Location of the Western Hordes invasion of the Elven Empire during the Age of Emperors. As with all the passes it was once heavily fortified and garrisoned by both Elven and Human forces but following the death its defenses have crumbled allowing the Orcish hordes to rampage into the Elven lands to the West.

Madman’s Mountain.
Located at Breakheart Pass. Scene of the Elven Emperor Mordirian’s famed tent city during the great battle between the Elves and Orcs and scene of his fateful departure for the North Pole.

Koth
Ruined land of the Serpent Men, sundered by great magic’s during the age of Legends. Situated at the southern tip of the Ironwall Mountains and between the Barren Steppes to the East and the Jungles of Kesh to the South.

The Great River
Running between the Axeblade Mountains in the North and the Sea of Storms via Azgaroth. Renamed The Red River following the pollution of Dwarven industry during the age of Chronicles and cause of the Red River War, a conflict between the Elves and Dwarves that lasted Centuries.

The Sea Of Storms
The mighty ocean that lies to the West of Aeroth. Currently almost un-navigable due to the presence of both Leviathan, one of the Fallen princes and its many monstrous children and the re-emergence of the Sea Demons

City of the Kraken
A submerged city populated by the dead and their Sea Demon masters. Located somewhere in the endless depths of the Sea of Storms, the city is formed of an artificial reef constructed by countless ships the Sea Demons have sunk over the years and houses great submerged docks for the black hulks of the Sea Demon fleet.

The Southern Desert
Forming an endless sea of sand and blasted rock, the Southern Desert is a bleak place and until the Death nearly uninhabited. The emergence of the Devourer has changed this. The desert now swarms with the Children of the Worm.
Mighty Storm Elementals in the form of gigantic dust devils crash across its already bleak landscape stripping any unfortunate caught in the maelstrom to the bone.

The Wormtrail
A spiraling road that leads from the Elven Domains into the southern desert. It is along this trail that the followers of the Great Devourer drag an endless succession of slaves to feed their dread master.

The Altar of the Worm
Deep within the Southern Desert lies the Alter of the Worm. A permanent portal into the Abyss where the Great Devourer lies. The Children of the Worm bring caravans of slaves to sacrifice to their dark lord.

The Jungles of Kesh
A sweltering expanse of mighty trees and sweltering swamps located to the South of the Elven realms and forming the northern border of the great Southern Desert.

Sunpeak
Located on the Northern shores of the Sea Of Storms. Home of the Knights of the Eternal Light. Since the death it is one of the last beacons of hope in the ravaged lands.
The mighty fortress of Sunpeak has been under siege from the forces of the Fallen for over a decade but it still stands. Templar expeditions are often displaced to seek their reborn god Arezhiva and to rebuild the shrines and temples that the Fallen have destroyed or turned to darkness.

The Elven Domains

The Elven Domains are split into twelve regions, each under the control of the great houses and dominated by a great obelisk with Azgaroth at their core.
Since the Death ravaged the land, several of the Obelisks have been totally destroyed and the very landscape itself warped into a land of polychromatic sand and weird, vast mushroom forests that can spring up overnight and vanish just as quickly.
Pools of magma and turgid rivers of lava flow over once fertile lands turning what was once a paradise into a vision of the Abyss.

Azgaroth
Ancestral Capitol of the Elven Empire. Now no more than a shattered ruin and throne of the Lord Of Havok, the mightiest of the princes of the Fallen, Azgaroth is a place of darkness and terror that mortals fear to tread.
So closely linked to the Abyss, Azgaroth is swarming with the Fallen, whose essence can only be sustained in the mortal realms by the warped nature of what was once the jewel of the empire.

Baal Hazor
The Fallen Hold, Baal Hazor was captured through treachery from the Dwarves before the Death. It lies in the Ironwall Mountains and now sits with a grim obsidian Obelisk at its heart. Some Dwarves still live within its vastness but merely as slaves to their Elven overlords. Baal Hazor's armies have recently begun fielding new engines of war; strangely ornate Wargolems have been seen battling alongside the Elves and their Fallen allies.

Borea
The cloud city contains the last of the Dragonlords, the last true Elves. Situated high in the Ironwall mountains, Borea is protected by a magical mist that is anathema to the Fallen. The few remaining Elves who have not fallen to darkness fled here and are attempting to muster their strength to one day take back their land from the servants of darkness.

Harakium
A coastal city crushed to dust by the emergence of Leviathan. Situated above the Garganuk Deeps, the location of Leviathans emergence. A vast network of flooded tunnels, which still echo to the chanting of once forbidden cults.

Hastathor
Flying city floating above the Plain of Dreams. Once a beautiful city and home to the Elven skyship fleet. Held aloft by Earthpower at a confluence of leylines, Hastathor has suffered greatly with coming of the Death. Much of the skyship fleet crashed to the earth as their Earthpower lodestones shattered with the release of so much dark energy.
Hastahor itself survived at the cost of the lives of thousands who were sacrificed to the Fallen. The result was a weird, almost organic city where Elven sorcerers conduct twisted experiments on captives to create weird amalgamations of flash and bone. These abominations form much of the cities military strength.

Iskander
Destroyed by the Northern Barbarians following the end of the Eleven Civil War. Located in the north of the empire bordering the Ironwall Mountains. Currently populated by several human scavenger clans.
The scavenger clans barely survive but have managed to salvage a motley array of weapons and equipment from the ruins. A great earth elemental has sundered the cities obelisk and the surrounding streets are equally ruinous but the walls have been rebuilt and Iskander now stands against the darkness.

Jharoque
A Southern Obelisk overrun by the Children of the Worm, Jharoque is partially inundated by the Southern Desert. Once a great trading city Jharoque is now a city of the dead, the Devourers children setting out along its caravan routes to bring the gift of unlife to the post Death world.

Metahor
Location of the first outbreak of the Red Plague that devastated the Empire, Metahor is a dead city surrounded by charnel pits and mass graves. Life still clings on here but it is of a dark sort. Amongst its fetid alleyways ghouls and fallen scavenge amongst the dead. Metahor still draws people to it in search of wealth and arcane articles but to enter its dark shadow is to court death and disease.

Nazagaroth
Situated on a plain of glass, formed of fused crystalline towers rising above the mirrored steppe. Guarded by the approach to the Great Abyss. During the death the plain of glass melted and reset in a jagged landscape of mirrored glass. Much of the population died in the liquid embrace of the glass and their souls remain trapped in the sea of crystal.

Pelopolis
Location of the Great Watchtower bordering the southern shore of the Sea of Storms Pelopolis was once a great dock for the Elven navy. Since the return of the Sea Devils Pelopolis has become the front line between the Elves and their Fallen allies and the varied monstrous creatures that Leviathan has birthed in the Sea of Storms and the constant raiding of the Sea Devils themselves.

The Plain of Dreams
 Lands surrounding the floating city of Hastathor.

Galandrias Mausoleum
Situated in the Garden of Ages. Galandria’s ghost still appears to commune with her people.

The Crystal Gardens
Enormous hothouse domes of everglass containing rare plants and animals from the jungles of the Southlands.

Cloud Hill
 Location of the meeting between the Barbarian and Orcish hordes during the Elven Civil War. Formed after the death of Marek, one of the protagonists in the Civil War, his spell unwound causing several mighty earth elementals to collapse forming a new hill overlooking Azgaroth.

The Plain of Bones
A huge swath of mass graves containing the fallen from the cataclysmic battle at the end of the Elven Civil War. Remains barren till this day, as nothing will grow there.

The Weeping Gardens
The remains of the Earth Goddesses temple in Azgaroth. A large hanging garden once lush and fertile, now dead and decayed. Legend says a single grove survives untouched amongst the devastation.

Dwarf Holds

Hallador
Northern most of the great holds, Hallador sits high in the Axeblade Mountains. Beset by the Fallen, Hallador stands firm against the forces sent against it and is home to possibly the most powerful of the Dwarven clans who have sent several armies to aid their kin in more heavily beset Holds.

Kareth Dul
Kareth Dul lies in the Axeblade Mountains near the Axebite pass. The Holds warriors have been manning the great wall that holds the Orcish hordes from sweeping into the North West. The great fortresses of Kar Kareth and Dur Zamor hold large numbers of doughty warriors who have been steadily exploring the lands to either side of the wall in preparation for Dwarven settlers.

Thuul
Thuul is a grim Hold located in the Mountains of Myth. It overlooks one of the passes that allowed the Orcish hordes to pass between the Barren Steppes and the Elven domains.

Mourngrad
Located at Mount Mourn, the great peak that marks the joining of the Ironwalls and the Axeblades. Moungrad was badly damaged by earthquakes during the Death and is yet to fully recover.

Erith Dur
Most Southern of the Holds, Erith Dur sits on the Southern tip of the Axeblade Mountains where the endless South Desert carves the stone of the mountains into weird formations. The Children of the Worm have besieged Erith Dur several times in the last few years.
Despite this the clans who inhabit the Hold are expanding their domains and have recently unsealed the Vulture Gates, vast fortified keeps that surround their hold.

Dum Morak
Greatest of the Southern Holds. Location of the Elder Seal. Abandoned by the Dwarves shortly afterwards. Location of the Devourers birth, Dum Morak once contained secret chambers, which contained the Devourers spawn for eons untold. What other dark secrets could the deserted hold contain?

Brug Dur
The Dark Hold. All other Dwarves revile the Clan of Brug Dur as they welcomed the Fallen into their hold. This treachery led to the Hold being destroyed by a combined force from all the other Dwarf Holds. All of the clan that could be found were put to the sword as the Dwarves attempted to stamp out the evil done by their kin.
Unfortunately some survived and Dwarves once again inhabit the ruins of Brug Dur but the contamination of the Fallen has changed them. The forges deep within the Hold have begun to ring to the sound of hammers. The machines seen operating at the nearby Elven Obelisk Baal Hazor may well be the result of the reemergence of the Jackals of Brug Dur.

Barbarian Lands 

North of the Axeblade Mountains are the Barbarian Kingdoms. A land of barren hills, frozen tundra and endless pine forests, the barbarian lands suits its hardy people. Dotted along its border, mighty standing stones channel Earthpower into a screen that the demons of the Fallen cannot cross.
The clans that comprise the barbarian peoples live in fortified settlements usually built on the crest of a hill and surrounded by stone ramparts heavily carved with mystic sigils containing bound elementals, which strengthen the wall. Outside the wall lie lines of sharpened stakes and trenches.
Scattered throughout the land are a host of sacred groves, stone circles and lone monoliths that are dedicated to the Earth Mother. The Greatest of which is the High Druids grove, which forms a focus for all the Earthpower in the North, channeling it towards the boundary with the other lands. 

Crown of the World
The Crown of the World is a chain of mountains that border the Northern Icecap. Inhabited by a wide variety of dangerous creatures, the Crown of the World Mountains are a place of bitter cold, ice and 
snow.

Great Ice Fields
Lying to the North of the Crown of the World Mountains, the Great Ice Fields are a seemingly endless expanse of jagged ice and snow. Nothing lives this far North, or at least is known to but some of the  Barbarian clans hunters claim to have seen Elves clad in furs and a fortress of blue ice.

High Druids Grove
Situated in the centre of the Barbarian Lands near the Mountains of Myth, the sacred grove of the High Druid is a place of great power. The Grove lies in a truly ancient forest, whose trees are over a thousand years old. 
The High Druid himself is a mysterious figure that few have seen but legend says he is actually a physical manifestation of a god. The High Druid wields incredible power, capable of bringing the surrounding forest literally to life but he rarely leaves the grove as his strength is directly linked to it.

Mountains of Myth
The Mountains of Myth lie between the Ironwall Mountains and the Crown of the World. A low series of peaks, these mountains are heavily forested and all sorts of strange creatures reside in their mysterious depths. The Barbarians chosen mount, the Razorback makes its home amongst these forests and is the destination for many Barbarian hunting parties. Rumour has it one of the packs of the Children of the Moon also reside there.

Orcish Lands

Barren Steppes
The bleakest of lands. A place of barren, windswept plains, turgid rivers and miasmic swamps roamed by great herds of gigantic and ferocious monsters, swept by terrible storms and ravaged by hideous plagues.

Koth
Ruined Capitol of the serpent men. Location of the First Great Seal and the Orcish Shamans first communion with Gorath. Becomes a holy site to the Orcs during the Pax Galadria. Sacked by the Elves during their removal of the first Seal now a muster point for the Western Horde on its way to the passes through the Ironwall Mountains and the more distant Axeblades.

The Orc hordes live an almost entirely nomadic lifestyle so lack any other large settlements until the Eastern Horde began carving an empire of their own out of the lands to the South East.


Goblin Lands

Situated on the Eastern shores of the Cold Sea the Goblin Lands were conquered by the Orcs over a millennium ago and have laboured under their overlords ever since. The Goblins homeland is situated in the midst of a mighty river delta of endless swamps and waterways. Most Goblin settlements are built on raised platforms and stilts to keep its inhabitants out of the reach of the many venomous denizens of the swamp.
Harpy Aeries

Located in the most inaccessible highland peaks of the Axebite and Ironwall Mountains. Destroyed during the Age of Legends by the expansion of the Dwarven territories. Since the Death the Aeries have been re-inhabited. The Harpies fled the Dwarves in ages past and sought shelter in the Abyss and over the eons plotted their revenge. The long sojourn in the Abyss has warped the Harpies into creatures of horror.

Horned Folks Barrows

Located deep in the dark forests of the Northlands. One of these haunted barrows contained the Second Seal, which was recovered by the Elves shortly before the Death.
This fateful action stirred the Horned Folk in their millennia long slumber. The Death fully woke them. Now the gloomy forests are becoming witness to a site not seen since the Age of Legends; the Horned Folks are emerging from their barrows and preparing to take back their ancestral lands.

Children of the Moon Hunting Grounds

Located in the far North of Aeroth, the surviving Children of the Moon landed their great sky arks in the midst of the bleak lands that border the polar ice. Further North even than the barbarian clans it is a land of endless, frozen tundra and forlorn pine forests. Great herds of grazing animals constantly migrate across this tundra providing the great packs with plentiful prey.

Several barbarian tribes have settled in the region and they have formed a close bond with some of the Lunar Children packs.

Hopefully that will give folks a better overview of the world itself. The main action is taking place on the border of the Axeblade Mountains and the Barren Steppes where the Dwarf hold of Kareth Dul attempts to hold the Axebite Pass from the endless hordes of Gorath. (annoyingly I need to rework the map below to get spelling and locations sorted out but it will do for the time being!)


There are many forces fighting for control of the vital pass which connects east and west but the Dwarves of Kareth Dul have withstood every foe that has marched against them and have even formed some loose alliances with local human settlements such as Pinecliff and several barbarian clans to the north.

Worryingly, the Orcs are once again massing under the banner of a particularly ambitious Orc known as Krull, a fiend in flesh and blood who sacrificed much of his last army during the bitter winter months in a frenzy of bloodletting as the strong preyed on the weak. It is only a matter of time before he marches up the pass to try and force the gates of the Great Wall. 

The Dwarves are ready for him though as groups of sturdy guardians patrolled the mountains all through the winter and even now ironshod boots march along the Dwarven military roads and boilers are stoaked in wargolems and battletanks in preparation for the oncoming battle.

To the north of the Axebite river, an ancient power is stirring, several barbarian settlements have been razed to the ground and their inhabitants slain or driven off as slaves. The Horned Folk have woken from their eons long slumber and the warlike race seems set to try to reclaim its ancestral lands. In response, the Elves of Borea have sent an army into the grim forest to once again restrain one of the elder races. Reports are coming in to the Dwarven outposts of ghostlike Grey Elves flitting from tree to tree in search of something. Thus far they have avoided the Dwarves but the sheer power of the Horned Folk may force them to seek an alliance.

Hopefully the first battle will be fought before too much longer with the Grey Elves pitted against the Horned Folk and then the Dwarves striking East to attack the Orcish horde in a blitzkrieg intended on smashing Krulls power for good and reclaiming the lost settlement of Kragh.

I am also working on finishing out some 15mm scale goodies to game some skirmishes taking part on the periphery of the main campaign that will none the less prove vital in the coming war!

All the best!

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Welcome to Aeroth!

Hi!

Welcome to my new blog which will hopefully be home to all the bits and bobs I put together for Aeroth and based on the rather wonderful old game, Leviathan.

The Book that started an obsession!

Over the years I have obsessed about Leviathan as it was such a great setting and have run a few blogs based on it but without fail, they have all fallen by the wayside for various reasons (usually due to scale issues!) but I think I may have finally cracked it with my rediscovery of 6mm fantasy!

Horned Folk Warband

In my previous attempts, I concentrated mostly on 28mm scale and it just didn't work. Having read the background, one imagines massive armies clashing with titanic warmachines stomping around and in 28mm and even to an extent 15mm scale, this just isn't possible. Therefore I always found myself frustrated with lack of progress.

Skip forward a bit and I have managed to paint up the core of a decent army for the Horned Folk, a race of ancient minotaurs who have been awoken from their long slumber by the Death, a catastrophic release of wild magic that has sundered a one beautiful world and left it weirdly warped and changed.

Its not only success with my 6mm stuff thats been exciting, I have been working my way through some 15mm scale figures too:

 The Boar Company

This is giving me the opportunity to play not only massive battles but also small skirmishes with hardy bands of adventurers and horrible monsters and I plan on continuing the progress I have made over the last few weeks with the aim of playing out a few games that will eventually morph into a full blown campaign.

Over the coming months, I hope to add background on the world, its important locations and its inhabitants and have a bit of fun with the project so do feel free to check back from time to time!

All the best!