Mars Miniatures

Mars Miniatures

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Seasons Greetings From The Dwarves Of Moria

Contrary to popular belief, Moria is not yet dead.  (Not even mostly dead...)

Distant stirrings and rumors of longbeards and their fat stuntie feet abound in that dark dank undermountain kingdom.  The faint sounds of beer steins clinking and forks on plates laden with mutton chop can be heard.  And soon, the tide of good ole Dwarven industry will once again populate this once forgotten city.

This blog has been quiet, it is true, but not for lack of trying.  In the absence of new posts, this Dwarf loving heart has dreamt of all the good plans that will unfold in due time. In fact, the doors are set to burst with new arrivals and battle reports in the new year.

I couldnt let the year end without at least one more new Moria related post to send off 2015.
Luckily, I have had these fellas below painted from a good month or two ago.  They had not been able to get on camera until now. They have been good lads waiting patiently for their patron to take them out of their storage case.  Well the lights are on and the camera is charged...

May your axe be ever sharp and your mug never empty!

Happy Holidays from Moria,

The Dwarven miners are determined to have some holiday cheer in the face of adversity and certain Orcish invasion.  They are debating which tree would make a good yule totem.  Im not sure Treebeard and the Ents of Fangorn forest would approve.  But then again, it is the the season to be cheerful!  But before axe could be laid to bark, a high shrill whistle resounds and the perfect tree uproots itself and begins walking into the warm and cozy Dwarven hall.  What few Dwarven children remain in Moria are surprised to see a yule totem plant itself right in the middle of the Great Feasting Chamber.

High King Thorgrim Grudgebearer:  Hmm, Im guessing a certain Grey wizard was able to put in a good word on our behalf to the tree folk.

Runelord Kragg:  Yes, Sire.  Which means Gandalf could be nearby.  I sure hope he drops into Moria sooner than later.  I could use some lessons in his Fire Magicks.  Could come in handy against that juggernaut of an Orc siege that is about to crush us.

Here are some old school Citadel miners from the 80s.
In the center is Foreman Brisket.
He is the bossman (bossdwarf?) of Union Local Number 674 of the Miners Fellowship.

Foreman Brisket:  Big Ass Mug Holder 674, reporting in...
All the Dwarven Miners:  Hooo Ahhh!

On the left is a Hasslefree Dwarf(?) with new fangled eye tech for night vision.  No greenskin is gonna be surprising this well prepared miner.

And on the right is a fella with a bucket.  Handy for lugging precious ore around.  Gold nuggets, mithril nuggets, diamonds and rubies.  Hey there fella, what you got in your bucket today?  Oh, well Bugmans Beer will do in a pinch too, I suppose...

And finally we have these 6 miners from the 90s era.  Here at the Moria Reclamation Project we dont discriminate.  All Dwarves of any era and manufacture have a place at our table.  Long as they're willing and able to put an axe into a goblin, they are most definitely welcome.


So there you have it, some fine new additions to the roster here in Moria.  And if you recall from a previous post, these guys really do need to find their way to wherever Gimli is at.  You might recall Gimli and his commanders had just discovered some lovely Mines that need... err... mining.

Until next post!
Oh I leave you with this little ditty written by a fine old bloke some time ago...

 "O! wandering folk, the summons heed!
Come haste! Come haste! across the waste!
The king of friend and kin has need.
Now call we over mountains cold,
'Come back unto the caverns old'!

Here at the Gates the king awaits,
His hands are rich with gems and gold.
The king is come unto his hall
Under the Mountain dark and tall.

- Song for The King Under The Mountain

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Squat Trek Episode 1 - Forgotten Planet

Welcome dear readers of this Moria Reclamation Project to a "State of the Reclamation Address"

So, I have been alternating from working and feeling ill. I apologize for the lack of updates to this blog. Mostly, Im apologizing to my lil stunties who have been meditating in their storage cases waiting for the opportunity to hit the gaming table and the bright lights of a photoshoot. The wait is over, some new inhabitants are going to be making their entrance to this very blog. While the oldtimers arent part of the posts, the entire Moria populace came out anyway to witness the event.

To satisfy my need to do some sci-fi gaming, or sci-fantasy even, I had previously hinted that work had begun on a 54mm sci-fantasy side project that would exist as a sister blog, but Im sad to say that would require more time and effort that I just dont have at the moment. Plus, the Moria Project has far too much story to go through as it is! So, the solution?

Im going to bring some sci-fi right here on this blog... 

 that will involve stunties, 28mm, vintage citadel, and will continue to expand the blogs fluff 40 millenium into the future...

Thats right folks, I give you Moria 40,000!
Rogue Trader 1st edition Warhammer 40k.

This way I can tell the story of Moria from 2 vastly different time periods and opens up the possibility of past fluff events affecting future fluff events. Which means even more wierdness. Lord of the Rings meets Warhammer, Star Wars/Trek meets 40k, what a mess! Strangely enough, I was reading some Tolkien the other day and came across a fact I always knew about but never really mattered to me until now... Middle Earth was called Endor by the Elves. Damn you Lucas for putting Ewoks on one of the moons of Middle Earth! And damn me, for thinking that I will actually do it on this blog! Just joking... or am I?

So welcome to the pilot episode for Squat Trek!  Remember Dwarves are called Squats in the far future, and in space no one can hear you scream "continuity errors!"

State of the Union is over.
Roll out the episode...
Warp speed at my command!
In 3, 2, 1...

Left to Right: Engineer Scotty (with a Conversion Beamer!), Capt Khyrk, Paulie Atreides

"Stardate 43018
My name is Captain Khyrk, commander of the U.S.S. Entenmanns.  While on routine patrol of the Squat Homeworld Defense Perimeter, we were attacked by an unknown and hostile alien fleet that can only be described as... "tentacle-y".

In the center:  Science Officer Spokk (with a trusty Tri-corder)

" Reverse calculating their trajectory, our science officer Mister Spokk had determined the invaders are not from our galaxy, that they had come from the deep darkness of intergalactic space."

In the center: Yoga Master Kenobi

"The vastness of their fleet is beyond comprehension and had destroyed our own without effort.  The four greatest and mightiest of Squat ships were hastily assembled to combat against these aliens which the humans call "Tyranids".  We had decided to call this particular alien incursion as "Hive Fleet Om Nom Nom"."

In the center: Judge Dreddlock (with Hot-Shot Lasgun)

"The USS Pork Cracklins, the USS Mojito and the USS Heineken were all destroyed in the first minutes of the fight.  Only my ship was able to get away, but damaged reactors/failing life supports/hull breaches forced all survivors to abandon ship in the shuttles. "

In the center: Korben Dallas (with a Multipass!)

"The closest planet was a primitive feral planet that was not on any of our starmaps and had no humanoid lifeforms.  This planet was on the DMZ between Squat and Eldar space.  It was probably one of the Forgotten and Forbidden Planets."

Left to Right: Deckard, Roy Batty

"Upon crash landing, I counted 20 Squat survivors under my command.  We do not have the capability of sending messages to Squat HQ Command.  I can only hope my Captains Log transmissions will be picked up by some nearby starship and rescue might somehow reach us. "

In the Center: Kyle Reese

"Until then, I will explore this planet with my noble and courageous crew.
This is Captain Khyrk, over and out."

Survivors of the USS Entenmanns make planetfall and emerge from the wreckage.

Korben Dallas:  Did anyone think about bringing some of those delish Crumb Cakes from our lost USS Entenmanns?  Im hungry!

Yoga Master Kenobi: Or at least some Romulan Ale!

Korben Dallas: I thought Romulan Ale was against the law?
Judge Dreddlock:  AYYYyy  UMMMmm  DAAAAaa  LAWWWWww....

Korben Dallas: (pats Dredd on his helmet) Yeah, we know buddy.

Science Officer Spokk:  Captain,  Im reading some... readings.  Life forms are approaching...

Capt Khyrk:  Can... you... triangulate... on their position... Mr Spokk?

Science Officer Spokk:  I am getting signals in front and behind.  Fascinating!

Capt Khyrk:  There... they are!  Its... those... psychotic... Genestealers again!  They... must... have... followed us to this planet!

Capt Khyrk:  Fire... at.... will!

Engineer Scotty:  Bloody hell, Captain, are ya going to talk like that for the whole blog post?  No wonder Dr Bones chose to go down with the ship!

Capt Khyrk:  Fine!  I can talk normal, when I want to!  Anyone got any ideas?

Roy Batty:  Ive seen things you people wouldnt believe... Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion...

Deckard:  (interrupting Roy Batty)  NOT NOW with your silly poem you dirty replicant!  Dont make me decommission you!!

Roy Batty:  But, but... tears in rain?  (bows head in sadness)

Science Officer Spokk: Well, Captain, we have a 97% chance of extinction if we stay out in the open.

Capt Khyrk: Never tell me the odds, Spokk.  Head for the rocks people!

Yoga Master Kenobi:  Bloody alien things, they are ruining my tea-time!  OH I should have chosen the darkside... a Sith Lightning spell could really come in handy right now!

Capt Khyrk:  OK!  Whew...  They seem to have backed off.  For the moment...  C'mon you stunties!  Lets go hiking up this way!

Our brave vertically challenged heroes leave behind the alien infested swamplands and cross over a strange rocky valley and find...

Capt Khyrk:  A ruins! Maybe we can make a base camp here?  First lets secure the perimeter!  All Squat squads fan out in quarters and search out 100 meters and circle back.

Korben Dallas:  Say again?  All after incinerators...
Capt Khyrk: I said I want you to lay down a suppressing fire and fall back by squad to the...

Korben Dallas:  (talking to his squad) Guys, the Capt wants us to oppress the incinerating choirs by the falls!

Capt Khyrk: Thats not what I said at all!  Who said incinerators?  I didnt mention those ever...

Korben Dallas:  (giggling) We got it Captain, over and out.

Science Officer Spokk:  Captain, with Engineer Scotty's help perhaps we can modify my Tricorder to receive interstellar communications?  We might be able to receive signals from Squat HQ!

Deckard:  Doesnt it disturb you that the very name of our race... "Squats" has become synonymous with extinction!?  As in I dont want to be squatted? Its beyond racist!

Korben Dallas:  Aww man, I shoulda been on vacation on Phloston Paradise, with an orange haired hotty!  Instead Im on this stinking alien infested planet...  probably about to go extinct... err... squatted with the rest of you... Squats.

Judge Dreddlock:  LAAAWWWwww?  

Korben Dallas: Yeah, I know... thanks buddy.

Kyle Reese:  Contact!  Alien forces have breached the ruins in the West!

A "red-shirt" Squat: OMG, they are here in the North sector too!

Judge Dreddlock:  LAAAAAAWWWWWW!!!!

A "red-shirt" Squat:  Thanks Mr Dredd! 

Science Officer Spokk:  All squads reporting back that the Genestealers have retreated again.

Engineer Scotty:  There!  Ive done it!  We now have a radio signal from HQ!

Capt Khyrk:  Stabilize the signal and increase the volume!

"Emergency Broadcast System!  This is the President of the Federated Squat High Command.  An alien species has invaded our Homeworlds.  Our planets of Cragsfast, Bantamsword, and Stonehome have fallen to their vicious onslaught.  Only our Capital world of Goldenthrone remains, for now... Further communications may not be possible.  Save your energy, save yourselves!  Avoid the Squat Homeworlds at all costs... Farewell!"

The Squats take off their helmets and bow their heads.  Most sit in silence while some shed a tear or two as they hear the fate of their home planets.  Some Squats pat the shoulders of those whose planets are named.

Finally, Capt Khyrk takes out his communicator and speaks into it: 

Capt Khyrk:  "These are the last transmissions of the survivors of the starship Entenmanns.  Its 5 year mission, to explore strange new brews, to seek out the best restaurants and new bakeries, to boldly go where no squat has eaten before..."


 So there you have it!  The first "pilot" episode for Squat Trek.
Hope you enjoyed it, I have 2 more ideas for scenarios planned out, just waiting to be gamed and photo'd.  As you can see, Ive decided to tone down the rules aspect and concentrate on the fluff and narrative of how the game turns out.  Dont know if thats more interesting, then again maybe some readers like to know about whose guns were jammed by rolling doubles.  I probably should have have thrown in some of that info at least...  well, next game.

First of all, the figures... Capt Khyrk is a bad ass, better than the actual Kirk.  Why?  Look at him!  He's a space dwarf, with a beard and smoking a cigar!  The sculpts are great, half of them are Rogue Trader RT301 Space Dwarfs  and  the others are Iron Claw Squats, BUT I love all of them.  Oh and Capt Khyrk is the figure's actual name. This site has the proper names of all the figures in the range:

So lets talk about rules.  I dont have a copy of 40k 1st edition at the moment.  So what did I use?  Space Hulk 1st edition rules!  Those are original Genestealers too, to match.   Of course, its supposed to be in a confined area, so no surprise that the Squats dominated the open area at the start.  And in the end, there was only a smaller force of Stealers left.  So they were able to squash the aliens with no problem.  I just counted the various sundry Squat weapons as stormbolters.  Its that superior Squat technology!

Just to get the game going, I declared Scotty's Conversion beamer and all the plasma guns as flamers.  I need to find those rules, was it in the Genestealer supplement?  Or Deathwing?  At any rate I should find a copy of the Space Hulk Bible online, which I think was a Specialist Games compendium of Space Hulk rules.  

I totally forgot, I have the Old Citadel compendiums which has rules for using bolters and lasguns in 1st edition Fantasy.  So I can go that route also. So Oldhammer its pre-40k.  I could use the Lustria scenario "Rigg's Shrine" in there with amazons, vikings and space guns.  Hmm, its written by Richard Halliwell, the designer of Space Hulk.  It looks and reads like a AD&D module.

But I really enjoy Space Hulk rules, perhaps we should keep it. Its fast, simple, and fun.  Im just going to make a narrative campaign out of it.  I have a couple of White Dwarfs from the 80s with some Space Hulk scenarios as well, to draw inspiration from.

So Im not sure, if next post will be Squat Trek or Gimli and company in the Mines Of Madness adventure.  But both have the required painted figures and terrain for them ready to go.   Its just a matter of which one to game.  We will see...


Bonus feature: Soundtrack To This Post!
Music I listened to while playing the game...
Fates Warning - Awaken the Guardian
Elixir - The Son of Odin
Saxon - Saxon (1979)

Friday, September 11, 2015

At Long Last, Some Actual Mines In Moria!

If you are a reader of this blog, you might have noticed posts for the Moria Reclamation Project have been slow lately.  This is not due to disinterest on my part.  Rather, my painting commission business has taken off with spectacular success.   Alas, the negative effect is that Moria posts are at a trickle...

But chin up, my little Dwarves!

Because in between painting hordes of Medievals, battalions of Napoleonics, and armies of Romans, I have managed to sneak in some "me" time and I have completed my Yakkum Mines from Ainsty Castings.  I just realized I didnt take a good overhead pic of how many Mine Tiles I have, but I have enough to cover a 3 foot square area.  Its a good start. 

Now to paint up some Dwarf Miners and start mining those precious metals and gems! 

So in case you have forgotten, Gimli and company have been searching for Balin by following a map...

 Left to Right (Gloin, Pickles, and Gimli)

Gimli:  Are you reading that map right?
Pickles: (turning map upside down) Umm I think so?  Then again, these mine tunnels are a pretty confusing maze.
Gloin:  Where there are mines...  there must be miners!
Gimli: Well, Pickles... keep leading the way.
Gloin: (whispering)  I heard he got lost in his own museum once...

"90% of an archaelogist's time is spent in the library. Myths can only be taken at face value. We do not follow maps to buried treasures and X never ever marks the spot."

 Left to Right (Nindalf, Pickles, and Grumpy)

Grumpy:  Watch your step!  Someone needs to patch up those floorboards there.  (grumbles) When we drive out all the monsters from Moria, theres going to be alot of renovations needed around here...
Nindalf:  I think its molecular acid that melted through the floor!  Look, I can see at least 10 levels down.  Dont lean too far, you'll fall in!
Pickles:  I think theres a junction ahead...

"Looks like someone bagged one of Ripley's bad guys"

 3 hours later...

Grumpy:  We've been walking for hours without a beer break!
Pickles:  Just a little further...

 Even more hours later...

Pickles:  I think its just around the corner.
King Gorrin:  I hope so, my arms are getting tired from holding this heavy sword at a 45 degree angle all the time!
Borax Bloodaxe:  Just be thankful you arent carrying a modern "scale creeped" weapon.

 Pickles:  I dont get it!  the secret junction is supposed to be here.
Grumpy:  Look! its a gold vein!

King Gorrin:  Make a mark on your map, Sir Pickles.  G for Gold!
 Grumpy wishes he could trade his hammer for a mining pick.

Nindalf: (points at the floor)  Pickles, look at your feet...  there is your secret passage...
Gimli:  Come, Dwarf Lords, gather up the rest of our forces...  Balin awaits us!


So, a little tease of the new terrain.
Gimli and company are still following the tracks of Balin.

Music I had playing as I was taking the photos:  Ennio Morricone - Ecstasy of Gold

Also, Yosemite Sam is a Dwarf, isnt he?

Friday, August 21, 2015

Welcome To The Jungle Part 5 - Jungle Boogie

The conclusion to this battle report.

Get down, get down...
Jungle boogie, jungle boogie...
Get it on...

The King! The King is ambushed!

The Dwarves in the trench decide to help and leave the safety of their entrenchment.

Some Dire Apes were anticipating they would and charge at them.

Merlin, where are you? Call your Dragon... to weave a mist to hide us! 

The trench fighters are able to fend off the Apes in their way...

... and begin to pick off Apes from behind.

The Apes are confused about where to attack.

No one shall have Excalibur but me.....

Oh... nevermind, we won!

Kilgore: Smell that? You smell that?
Lance: What?
Kilgore: Napalm, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. 

The Gnome King, The Chaos Dwarf Captain, and the Gnome wizard stand over the bodies of fallen Apes and friends.
another wave is coming?!?!?!

All surviving Gnomes and Dwarves decide to hole up in the trench.
Only one barrel left! The wizard has no more spells.
Stuntie bravery and castle forged steel must be relied upon to save them in this wave...
And maybe a good trench!
The Ape army stares at them from across the river.

Koba: Koba fight for apes!
Caesar: Koba fight for Koba.

They come across again in one big mass.

Caesar: War has... already begun. Ape started war. And stuntie... Stuntie will not forgive.

The last barrel is blown.

Up, men, and to your posts! Don’t forget today that you are from old Moria!

And as the battle looked to be the last for many a stuntie...  they look up on the hill and see...

A winged Bear...?

With a roar it swoops down on the back of the Ape formation and crushes them!

Chaos Dwarf warriors are charging from the north!

Immortan Balin: Once again, I salute my Imperator... Furiosa!
And I salute... my half-life War Boys... 

who will ride with me, eternal... on the highways of Valhalla.
I am your redeemer. It is by my hand you will rise from the ashes of this world. 

Balin!  Good ol' Balin!
Up and down the trench line.. the cry goes up,
Its Balin, Lord of Moria!

The Dire Apes scatter like leaves before the storm wind.

A glorious pursuit... the slaughter of Apekind... victory.

The fallen Dwarves are revived and the wounded are looked after.
Then the Dwarf crossbows bow one by one in allegiance to Balin.
The Gnomes vow fealty to Balin, and even their King swears everlasting oaths of loyalty.
Mr Maloonigans continues feasting on Ape meat.

Balin talks to the Gnome wizard who knows the Savage Lands...
He tells him that he seeks the Carrion Caves.  The Wizard knows their location, but warns of great dangers in the Caves.
Balin tells him that he must get the Energon Crystals inside the Caves, so that he might raise Slann allies to help him re-conquer Moria above.  The Wizard says if Balin seeks allies, he should also consider the Troll Market.  A Free City of traders where mercenaries and supplies might be had for a price...


So another interesting little battle.  At first I made the Dire Apes "counts as" Beastmen.
Too powerful, so I made them Beastmen with only 1 attack.  Also, after they reach 50% casualties they must test morale every turn thereafter.  Just like Necromunda/Mordheim bottle tests.  They receive no terrain penalties for vegetation: woods, forests, brush, scrub, and the like.

The trench gives a negative modifier "to hit" for enemies and a positive bonus to defender.  There is also a bonus to morale for the defenders.  Plus, defenders do not have to back away 2" if they lose a battle.

As for fluff... looks like Balin is well on his way to building himself an army.  And we will continue focusing on Balin and company for the moment.

 Next post:  Elephant In The Room

Bonus feature: Soundtrack To This Post!
While playing this battle, I listened to:
Osamu Kitajima ‎-- Benzaiten
Tako - Tako
Suicide - Suicide
Pink Floyd - The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn

PS.  I also did listen to Surfin Bird to get psyched up!