We played an small, introductory game of Age of Fantasy since it was Lawrence’s first outing with this particular ruleset. I set up a compact battlefield to showcase my snazzy new buildings, and then we commenced our battle.
I don’t recall the ebb and flow of the game, but it featured plenty of brutal fights between my stout dwarf infantry and Lawrence’s ghastly daemons.
That gnarly chaos spawn ended up rampaging up my flank before eventually falling in single combat versus my bear-mounted dwarf lord. Twas a melee for the history books!
Elsewhere the daemonic hordes continued their assault to seize the settlement and drive back the dwarven defenders. My iron warriors proved to be a particularly effective speed bump as they held the gap against a Great Unclean One.
In the rear, my artillery piece peppered the smaller daemons with lead shot, reducing their ranks even as they closed with the dwarves.
The details of the game’s conclusion are a bit dim, but I recall that I pulled off the victory. All in all, it was a small yet visually stunning spectacle – a perfect weeknight game!
The original PDF supplement (all 172 pages of it) was created by James Diemer and hosted on his now-defunct Hour11 Wargaming blog. The supplement has been gone from the Internet for at least a few years, maybe more. All that’s left is a wasteland of broken links on gaming blogs around the world that had been inspired and energized by the crackling creativity in this massive tome of scenarios.
Of course, I had already downloaded a copy to keep handy on my computer. Little did I know it would become a rare artifact! I reached out to James via the email address in the scenario document and asked for permission to re-post this supplement on my blog. He never responded, but judging by the generous notes from the author on page 2 of the document, I don’t think he will mind.
So there you have it – a legendary lost resource has been rediscovered! This supplement takes Song of Blades & Heroes – one of my all-time favorite skirmish games as well as the game that single-handedly kickstarted my resurgence in this hobby – and adds in all of the glorious Warhammer and Mordheim scenarios you remember from your younger years. Share it, adapt it, enjoy it … above all, have fun with it!
I’m trying to ease back into posting more frequently, starting with a simple update of some recently completed items from my workbench.
First up is this gnarly minotaur warrior from Zealot Miniatures. I acquired this guy and another one (a standard bearer) secondhand from Mindtaker Miniatures.
I didn’t immediately know the origin of this figure, but my buddy Lawrence took one look and said “Oh, you backed their Kickstarter?” No, I did not, but it was nice to figure out this cool model’s backstory.
I really like this model (and the other one, the as-yet-unpainted banner bearer). That’s a 50mm base, so this is a big model. Both of them are brutal and savage, without any obvious iconography that would place them into a specific setting. They will mesh perfectly with my large chaos fantasy army!
Up next is Commander Ze, a print file offered by Reptilian Overlords as a fundraiser to support humanitarian relief for Ukraine. The model is available as a pay-what-you-want download, and I urge you to stop on by and throw them a few bucks for a good cause.
The figure itself is obviously modeled on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy – a leader who has transcended politics and secured his place in history due to his incredible leadership over the last two months during Russia’s heinous invasion of Ukraine. (Sidenote: it has been utterly fascinating to watch Zelenskyy being forged into a modern-day folk hero in real time. He met the moment in a way that few leaders have in the 21st century. I wish him long life and a boring, uneventful retirement surrounded by his loving family.)
The model was fun to paint up, and I was pleased to support this worthy cause, but I sincerely hope we never have to see Zelenskyy striking this pose in real life – holding an assault rifle astride the ruins of his glorious capital city. Cool model, in any case!
The last model in today’s roundup is a Blightlord Terminator conversion. I knocked this guy together when I uncovered an unused Forgeworld Nurgle Terminator torso + arms in by bits box. All I needed were some legs! I found an extra monopose Stormcast Eternal and snipped off the upper bits, leaving a fairly serviceable set of lower legs + base.
There was a large, awkward gap after I fitted the pieces together, but I was able to cover it up convincingly with an interesting tentacled armor plate that I found in my bits box. I also dug up a bunch of trophy heads and skulls to cover up all the goody-goody Stormcast iconography. You can see the result in the photo above. Looks OK, right?
I finished up the base right after I took this photo. Don’t judge me too harshly on that! I think the robes came out a bit too bright – this is Nurgle after all – but otherwise I’m generally pleased with the result. It’ll be a welcome addition to my Death Guard army, which has received some reinforcements recently, and more is on the way. Stay tuned!
Earlier this month we gathered for a game that really pushed the limits of our table space and our comfort level with the Age of Fantasy rules. We planned a 2-on-2 team game, wherein Vincent and I joined forces with our two mighty dwarven armies to oppose John and Daniel, who were fielding an unlikely alliance of humans (John) and vampiric undead (Daniel).
After dabbling in a few introductory games of Age of Fantasy, we felt ready to tackle a larger game, so each player brought 1,000 points to the table, for a raucous game totaling 4,000 points among the four of us.
We set this game in Realmlight, the “new world” lost continent that is being rediscovered after several failed colonial expeditions in our Uthdyn fantasy setting. The mysterious ruins on this battlefield may offer hints as to the fate of the explorators who came before … whoever controls the battlefield at the end of the day can plumb this forbidden knowledge to their heart’s content!
Behold these epic photos of our deployment zones, teeming with stout warriors, grim spearmen, and cackling skeletons!
First up: rank upon rank of stalwart dwarf warriors, ready to plant a flag in Realmlight and defend their new homeland against all invaders.
Vincent and I talked over our army composition before the gsame. I volunteered to bring the “big guns” – a battalion of artillery – and he filled out his roster with heavy infantry. It was the classic “hammer and anvil” approach. Did it pay off? Read on and judge for yourself!
We didn’t quite figure out the fluff behind why John’s humans would ally with Daniel’s undead warriors, but there had to be a good reason, right?
John’s humans were supported by two units of cavalry: chivalrous knights and the fearsome pegasus riders! These two hard-hitting units affected the game even before they hit the table, as they forced Vincent and I to constantly second-guess our deployment choices.
Daniel’s undead army consisted of several blocks of infantry backed up by a fearsome vampire lord, a terrifying skeletal dragon, and a ghastly unit of undead cavalry.
With so much cavalry on the opposing side of the battlefield, it appeared at the outset that the stout dwarves were likely going to get outflanked and run down amid thundering hooves and flashing lances! Let’s see how things developed…
As with our previous game of Age of Fantasy, we opted once again to go with the “Ebb and Flow” rules for the turn sequence, wherein we drew colored poker chits from a sack for activation. As before, this prompted some incredibly exciting and unpredictable moments!
On the first turn, John’s 20-man unit of spearmen had a tasty prize in sight: this ancient monument to the conquerors of old. He sent his troop of soldiers atop the stone platform to seize the objective and reinforce it with a wall of spears.
On the other flank, the dwarves smiled grimly and hefted their axes, preparing to meet the teeming undead hordes in a narrow bottleneck created by a ruined wall and a crumbling stone tower.
Between the two of us, Vincent and I had not two, but three units of Iron Warriors. These heavily armored dwarves boast the most potent defensive statistics in the whole game. In fact, none of us really knew how powerful their defense would be…these units would prove to be incredibly troublesome for the opposing undead legions.
And of course, in the backfield watching all of this unfold were the dwarf artillery units, ready to engage in a long-range black powder duel to the death.
In truth, 3 of my 5 artillery units didn’t do a whole heckuva lot this game. The bombard, which could shoot over intervening terrain and deal fearsome blast damage, didn’t hit anything the entire game! But the multi-barrel organ guns made their kinsmen proud by delivering fearsome volleys of fire turn after turn.
Things got interesting on turn 2, when (after a full turn of tiptoeing and tap-dancing to stay out of range of my artillery) John committed his horse-mounted knights to a wily skirmish action. His bold maneuver prompted an immediate response from Vincent and me – we had to deal with this threat; we couldn’t just let him go prancing around in our backfield.
Sidenote: the Ebb and Flow activation rules really encouraged all manner of bold, kinetic activity on both sides of the board.
And that wasn’t all. The pegasus knights swooped in at an opportune moment and absolutely shut down my entire artillery brigade. Granted, they got peppered with hot lead the next turn, but still … mission accomplished.
So the dwarves pivoted to deal with the cavalry that was thundering across the field, and in doing so that allowed the undead to advance several units and take up positions to oppose the dwarves.
It was really shaping up to be a big mess … we had strong infantry units angling for the best charge lane, vampires lurking, ghouls flailing, and a big ol’ skeletal dragon spewing death and destruction.
Here’s a look through the ruins at the ranks of advancing dwarves as they edged closer to the undead lines. Looks like something out of a Warhammer rulebook, circa 1989!
This glorious set-piece arrangement quickly devolved into a howling melee as the dwarves charged into the massed spears of the skeleton horde. Daniel sent his two leaders – the vampire lord and the ghoul king – wading into the scrum to support the undead infantry.
Both of these guys proved to be absolute beasts in combat and single-handedly chewed up their way through some units. But the dwarves were not falling fast enough, and the game was speeding toward its conclusion.
Even the mighty pegasus knights, their hooves drenched in the blood of the dwarven artillery crew, found themselves in an improbable situation when they were charged – and routed off the table – by the dwarven runemaster. (In game terms, they were “wavering,” which meant that any subsequent attack or charge would finish them off.)
Ultimately the dwarves held on long enough to prevail in this game. The undead horde had failed to slay enough of them in the killing fields near the stone tower, leaving the survivors able to reform and contest the central objective.
All in all, Age of Fantasy gave us another fun game full of memorable moments and photo-worthy finishes. For now at least, all of the One Page Rules games seem to scratch our itch for generic 28mm fantasy battles as well as grimdark sci-fi games.
And while the published army lists and units are satisfactory, there’s also some interest in tinkering with the list builder and creating some custom units. Thankfully, the raw points calculator is scheduled to be released later this year through the OPR Patreon. Until then, let’s roll some dice!
Just a quick post today to share some photos of some new units for my dwarf army. Astute readers may know that I have a long-running dwarf throng composed of figures from a wide variety of companies and manufacturers. I really enjoy blending different sculpts and designs together under a (somewhat) cohesive paint scheme.
First up is a unit of heavily armored dwarves. These figures are from MOM Miniatures, a boutique studio located in Spain. Vince and I went in on a group purchase last year to save on shipping costs.
These guys check all the boxes for me: heavy plate armor, expansive beards, and a variety of two-handed weapons. They’ll be right at home battering down the barricades of a goblin encampment, or marching in lockstep through a narrow canyon defile.
Up next is a dwarven sharpshooter, also from MOM Miniatures. This guy will serve as a ranger or maybe even an engineer-type role in my army. He’s on a slightly larger scenic base which makes him really stand out alongside the rank-and-file troops.
Lastly we have a real gem of a figure, and I can bear-ly contain my excitement to show it to you.
This dwarf bear rider is from Scibor Monstrous Miniatures, and it’s a hefty piece of resin!
I’ve adored Scibor’s delightfully chunky dwarf models for a long time, and just last year I painted up some figures for my army. The golden armor scheme really makes these guys pop on the battlefield, and I knew I wanted to try it out on this bear cavalry guy.
I’ve already got one bear rider on a polar bear in my army, so this guy’s mount got a more traditional boreal ursine paint job. And by that, I mean: it’s a brown bear.
There are tons of little details and design flourishes on this model, such as the severed orc head and the slash marks on the bear’s flank. But my inner 12-year-old wouldn’t let me write this post without pointing out that this bear model is, ahem, anatomically correct. A quick visual check confirms that Mr. Bear is a male.
So if, like me, you hadn’t yet checked “paint bear scrotum” off your miniatures painting bucket list, be sure to check out the lineup of bear cavalry from Scibor Monstrous Miniatures.
That’s it for now! These guys will march to the battlefield soon enough in a game of Age of Fantasy, or Saga, or Dragon Rampant, or … you get the idea.