Warhammer Rising Part 2: Mustering, Planning, & Points Counting

Last time on the blog I announced my intention to fix my old Warhammer Fantasy High Elves and get them ready for Age of Fantasy: Regiments. I’ve finally sat down and given the whole set a good once over, sorting out exactly what I have that fits with the ruleset and what kind of work lies before me.

Full Disclosure: I have been commissioned to write narrative work for One Page Rules. I don’t receive anything from people using the site or downloading anything, nor have I been asked to write this. I just honestly love the system and wish more people would find it!

From Warhammer 7th Ed. to One Page Rules

When I put this army together and partially painted it as a bright eyed and easily distracted youngster, the name of everyone’s game was Warhammer Fantasy Battles, 7th Edition. As we go through each until, you’ll see what kind of havoc that set wreaked on unit composition loadouts.

Thankfully some years back I was given the opportunity to review the excellent One Page Rules, which started life as a way to play Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40k without the massive and unnecessary rules bloat. I absolutely fell in the love with the system, and thankfully so did my regular wargaming group. Rules wise, we’ve since switched wholesale away from old man Warhammer and into One Page Rules.

I seriously recommend checking OPR out if you’re interested in a tactically interesting but rules-light version of the Warhammer classics.

High Elves: How Many Points Do I Have?

As a first step to this daunting task, I went looking through the OPR High Elves Army list (itself only one page, thankfully) and tried to sort out exactly what I have that fits with the army. I’m specifically gearing this army towards the Age of Fantasy: Regiments game so that I can keep the feeling of the old games alive. I’ve always been more of a fan of squared off regiments than free moving units. All the point values and unit rules I’m using are freely available here under ‘Army Books.’

Princes & Mages: High Elf Royalty

The Leadership of any army is a good place to start. At some point, too distant to remember, I acquired the High Elves from the Island of Blood starter set. No doubt I had hoped to put this project in motion much earlier, but time makes fools of us all. No matter. The second best time is now, right?

First off I’ve got a pristine and unpainted Elf Prince on Griffon with Lance. That comes out to 175 points and should be a formidable force on the battlefield. Since he’s going to end up a centerpiece, I’m going to leave the painting to my much more talented wife (Detailed look at her amazing Nurgle Chaos Army coming soon!)

Beside that is a High Elf Prince on Horse, also with a lance. The discerning can see my young self’s attempt a freehanding an owl on the shield. I believe I’ll keep that exactly as is after regluing. the plastic has held up quite well so very few touchups are needed.

Next is the Island of Blood Mage, a beautiful sculpt and again untouched. He comes to 60 points with Level 2 Magic. Will be shoving him towards my wife’s paintbrush too!

Lastly, and the most funny, is my attempt at pulling one over on Games Workshop. The kit that came with the Prince on Horse could either create a mounted or foot version, but not both. Butchering a Dark Elf Spearman got me this abomination. I’m going to run him as a Phoenix Prince, with no upgrades for 70 points.

Infantry and Elite Forces

The core of any force is the infantry. In Warhammer 7th Ed. that means bringing out literally the least amount of basic soldiers you could get away with. My Spearmen were organized in a unit of 15 which allowed every spearman to fight to the front, striking first.

In Age of Fantasy Spearmen are classed as Warriors and come in groups of 10. I’d love to be able to run 20, which means fixing up a few of the unpainted models in the back. A block of 20 with spears will hold their own and only come in at 285 points. If I manage to find a pile more Spearmen somewhere, I’d love to put together a second unit, but I’m not counting on it.

Archers work best as small units that add activations and long range, in my experience. So I’ve broken down my Archers into units of 5 without any command. These come in at 195 points total.

Also from Island of Blood, Sword Masters become Elites, with a full command come in at 185 points. The Seaguard are now simply Guardians, and they thankfully max out at 10 per unit, so they’re going to become the core of my ranged force. They come in at 185 points as well. Bows are expensive.

Elites with Lion Cloaks (My weirdly untouched White Lions) operate the same way as Sword Masters with Lion Cloaks adding stealth for some protection from ranged attacks. These lovely models seriously need some paint. They’ll be in a unit of 10 unless I can find 5 more somewhere. They come in at 205 points.

Cavalry, Artillery, & Chariots

The Island of Blood Light Cavalry are in as good shape as the rest of the set, so there’s nothing to do but paint them. They’ll cost 135 points for all the goodies like bows and lances. My SIlver Helms, on the other hand, suffered from Warhammer 7th Ed. It was easy enough to throw a character in alongside 6 horsemen and call it a day. Thankfully Age of Fantasy keeps everything to the same frontage, so Heavy Cavalry units will come in 5 or 10 strong. As I have 6 painted and only needing minor repair out of 8 total, they’re going to function as a unit of 5 until I can find some extras. At 5 strong they cost 155 points. At 10 they’re 260.

Chariots are good fun, and Having 3 running around the battlefield rarely gets old. As you can see, they’re in quite different states of disrepair. They might be one of the first projects I work on, as long as I can find a proper chariot base for the second Lion Chariot. They come to 170 each for the Lions, and 150 for the Horse Chariot.

Finally we get to the artillery. I have 2 Bolt Throwers, one of which is modeled with extra shots and the other without. Taking one of each costs 85 and 55 points. They’re definitely useful and small enough, so they might find the painting table after the chariots are fixed.

Conclusion: I’ve Got My Work Cut Out For Me

That was a lot to cover, but I’m glad I went through the effort of sorting them out. With every unit on the table filled out, I’ve got myself over 3,000 points for Age of Fantasy: Regiments. Now I’ve got a goal to hopefully have everything done and painted by the time restrictions are lifted and everyone is vaccinated. Time to get to work!

Warhammer Rising Part 1: A Classic High Elf Build for One Page Rules

We haven’t really talked very much about tabletop miniature content on Let’s Talk About Wargames, but we really should be. I started my wargaming career as a bright eyed youngster along two paths. One was dreamily watching Shogun: Total War‘s armies march about at 20FPS on the family Windows 98. The other was staring into the display cabinets at the local Games Workshop.

Tabletop wargaming is every bit as integral to the wider hobby as the other avenues of play, but the amount of time, effort, space, and money requried to make good on it might put some interested players off of the whole thing.

Getting Started with Tabletop Wargames?

Luckily there are some individuals and groups putting in the effort to make tabletop gaming more accessible. I’d particularly like to shout out the following:

Little Wars TV have been working to make historical tabletop wargaming easy to dive into with tutorial builds, a free ‘Dark Ages’ skirmish ruleset, and a series of excellent battle reports with historical commentary.

One Page Rules offers a myriad of fantasy and science fiction rulesets that fit on a single page, are easy to play, and remain model-agnostic. (Full Disclosure- I have been previously commissioned to write Narrative campaigns for OPR. Something I was eager to do because I love the system so much)

A Horror Unearthed: Unpainted Minis!

My wife and I recently helped my parents clean up their storage space and made a troubling discovery. Our Warhammer miniatures, which we had put away at the end of Undergrad and were believed lost to time and space, were just hanging out this whole time down in the basement.

Sacha’s army of Nurgle Chaos Warriors was almost perfectly intact and as beautifully painted as I remembered. My Orcs and Goblins were in a similar state, though less well done and less complete (there are always more goblins to paint).

Beneath them both, however, were the remnants of my high school High Elf army. Realizing that we don’t already have enough projects on the go (we do) Sacha and I decided that we were going to work on building, repairing, and painting this army to conform to One Page Rules’ Age of Fantasy: Regiments, which for my money is the best fantasy miniature game modeled after the classic Warhammer Fantasy.

High Elves Always Have a Plan

So how to go about doing it? Well first things first, we need to figure out exactly what we have as it lines up with Age of Fantasy: Regiments. From there we’ll need to know what models we need to acquire or remove to create properly sized units.

Then we need to get building and fixing. A lot of damage happened to these poor guys as they languished in boxes. I’m primarily the builder here, and Sacha is the excellent painter. Once we know what is what, it’s time to go through and glue, pin, greens tuff, and magnetize everybody. I’ll probably post some mini tutorials on these topics as I tackle them, with pictures.

The last step, once everyone is put together, is painting them up. Sacha has taken on the task of painting the monsters, heroes, and other big flashy stuff, and I’m going to be handling the rank and file.

More to Come: Historical and Fantasy Tabletop Game Coverage

As we work through this project, I’ll be posting regular updates and starting to trickle out more content related to tabletop miniature wargames, both historical, fantasy, and sci-fi. There’s a lot to cover but I’m a big fan (and more importantly a glutton for punishment.)

See you along the way!

Joe

Vietnam’s Call of Duty- 7554: Glorious Memories Revived

With a prayer for accuracy from the artillery-gentlemen on the hill, Hoàng Đăng Bình and his allies in the Viet Minh 204th regiment charge forwards to liberate Đông Khê from French colonial forces. Over the next hour the dedicated band of heroes liberate prisoners, assault bunkers, hold off waves of attackers, and finally liberate a small town from occupation. It could have been a level in any Call of Duty or Medal of Honor game, and that is the most fascinating part of playing 7554.

I may be terrible at First Person Shooters, but diving into Vietnam’s only major historical videogame production is worth my repeated (probably avoidable) deaths. From the Battle of Hanoi in 1946 to the Battle of Điện Biên Phủ in 1954, 7554 provides the perfect fodder for exploring how non-western companies and governments navigate historical memory and the business of selling videogames.

If you’re interested in watching the playthrough that inspired this article, head over to our Youtube channel.

7554‘s availability makes it one of the few non-western, non-Japanese historical war-themed games available for consumption outside their own domestic markets. This gives 7554 a unique and interesting seat amongst the many domestically produced propagandistic games that have been appearing around the world for nearly 20 years. (My repeated attempts to track down playable versions of Chinese produced wargames for the home market are a testament to the difficulty in finding anything working).

A brief overview: 7554 takes place during the First Indochina War, or the Anti-French Resistance War, placing the player as a Việt Minh fighter attempting to oust the French Colonial forces from their homeland. The game does its very best to present the conflict in purely those terms, with the focus on the Việt Minh’s tactical and strategic decisions over any attempt to engage with the political component of the conflict. It makes sense, 7554 was developed with help from the government of Vietnam, and they were very clear about what could and couldn’t be represented, according to the developers.

For instance, there is no multiplayer in 7554. Chiefly this is due to the fact that there cannot be any instance of shooting Việt Minh soldiers by the player. This extends much farther to the fact that the French forces on display in 7554 don’t include any of the 10s of thousands of Vietnamese who fought against the Việt Minh. Instead the French Forces are comprised of white and black Frenchmen, clearly indicating the colonial nature of the player’s opposing forces.

Materially, the game does an excellent job of portraying the hodgepodge of weaponry that would have been available to both sides. Weapons of Japanese, French, American, German, and Soviet make are all scattered throughout the game. The missions themselves play out in well done environments and are generally playable, though feel trapped in a world made in 2003. This is no real fault of the developers. They were working with the tools they had at hand a managed to make an interesting game with it.

Scattered throughout 7554 are key moments, usually cutscenes, that show the main characters or their comrades performing over the top heroic deeds. This initially struck me as hammy. But the more I played the more I realized that this is exactly the same kind of thing players see every time they boot up Call of Duty or any of the other myriad of shooters from the decade of the 2000s starring American soldiers. The propaganda is definitely tailored to the audience, with over the top heroics in 7554 replaced with awesome shows of technical force in later Call of Dutys.

There is a lot to talk about with this game, and I might make a second piece once we reach the conclusion of the main campaign. For now, I’d highly recommend checking out our Let’s Play if you have any interest in how this game portrays the conflict.

Joe

Images from Hiker Games Website http://www.hikergames.com/vi/game/pc/7554-69.html