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Koyote last won the day on December 24 2017

Koyote had the most liked content!

About Koyote

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    Disturber of the Peace

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  1. Koyote

    Hey Hamsters, I love the things you do...6/19

    I haven’t had a chance to read through (or even open) all of my new Wave 2 ZBPGH goodies, so my preference is SAGA.
  2. Koyote

    Koyote's Pagan Rus

    Below are two mock-ups of vignettes/baggage markers for my Pagan Rus warband. The first depicts an Odin-like figure wandering in the deep woods and happening upon a mound of skulls and bones. His two pet ravens, Huginn and Muninn, are perched on his shoulders. In the trees, other ravens look down. In Norse and ancient Germanic mythology, Odin has many aspects, including wisdom, magic, the gallows, battle, and death. So whether the bones are the remains of warriors slain in battle, executed criminals, or victims of human sacrifice, the manner of their death is a concern of the Allfather. The second vignette depicts another traveler of the deep woods. This time its a young woman. As she passes a peculiar looking tree, small animals furtively peer out from beneath the undergrowth. In Slavic and Russian folklore, the Leshii are forest deities or spirits who serve as guardians of forest and its animals. Depending upon the telling, a Leshii's appearance can be human-like or tree-like. They have a wicked sense of humor and they enjoy leading travelers and foragers astray.
  3. Koyote

    Koyote's Pagan Rus

    Looky what I found on eBay. These are the 3 Bogatyr from the famous Vasnetsov painting. I don't know how I'm going to use them (Pagan Rus don't have the mounted option), but I must have them.
  4. Koyote

    Koyote's Pagan Rus

    I reached out to Deraj Studios and ordered its Baba Yaga mini. I'm concerned that it won't scale well against my historicals. As a back up, I have the Zoraida miniature and the miniature mortar, but as you can see the mortar to Baba Yaga ratio isn't quite right. If the Deraj Studio mini doesn't work, I may have to sculpt my own mortar. It shouldn't be too difficult, but it's a task I had hoped to avoid. I've selected the Gripping Beast Pagan Rus warbanner bearer to serve as my Warlord. With no visible armor, a mustache instead of a beard, and posed blowing a horn, its not a very menacing figure; however, when sized up against against other 25mm Viking and Rus models, he is quite massive, in both height and girth. The brutish Viking Jarl, popularized in myth and popular culture, has come to be expected, but my favorite Viking and Viking-like characters from modern fiction tend to be fairly good natured and sometimes even jovial warriors who go against type. Plus, since my warband's theme includes a bit of Slavic folklore, I think I can get away with less ferocious looking Warlord.
  5. Koyote

    Warhamsters 6/12

    It's Monday and still no Warhamsters 6/12 thread, so here you go... I will be playing SAGA 2.0 with Brandon. It looks like Irish took a hit in this edition, but before passing judgment I'm going to give them a try. DEATH TO THE NORMAN INVADERS! If you are a SAGA player and you'd like to see what SAGA 2.0 has to offer, let me know and we'll play. I have all the books and battle boards that we'll need. All that you need to bring are your minis and your dice.
  6. Koyote

    Koyote's Pagan Rus

    I decided that I need a twelfth Brother Vinni axe/shield maiden so I can field these beautiful minis at max unit size. I have no interest in waiting 3 months for another direct order, so I searched for Brother Vinni minis on eBay. I couldn't find another pack of axe or shield maidens for sale, but I did find a pack of Brother Vinni arrow wives. Using metal rod, some plastic bits from other kits, and some greenstuff, I transformed an arrow wife into a shield maiden.
  7. Koyote

    Koyote's Pagan Rus

    Now that I have plan, the next step is to find the right figure. Carnevale and Eastern Front Studios both make nice Baba Yaga minis, but Carnevale mini is unavailable and the only way to get the Eastern Front mini is to buy a $200 set that includes Baba, her house, a few other items. The Eastern Front set is frigging fantastic, but I don't know if it's $200 fantastic. Pathfinder and Reaper makes a Baba minis, but both models are meh. The Bones 4 Kickstarter includes a Baba mini and the render looks awesome, but the quality human sized Bones models are typically fairly poor. I'm getting a Baba mini with my Hellboy kickstarter, but that's 12+ months away and I suspect that the model will be closer to 32mm than 28mm historical. The best Baba-like mini that I have access to right now is the OOP Wyrd Miniatures Zoraida Alternate model. The model is on the small side of 28mm, so it works with 28mm historicals. Also, its posed squatting down, so if I can find or make a suitable mortar for her to ride in...
  8. Koyote

    Koyote's Pagan Rus

    Baba Yaga is another aspect of Slavic and Rusian folklore that I wish to bring to the SAGA table. In the earliest Slavic legends, she's a pagan goddess who personifies storms, winter, nature, fate, and death. In later tales Baba Yaga takes on the role of terrifying old witch who can be both cruel and kind (sometimes both in the same story). This contradiction make her unusual among European folk figures who tend to behave as either an antagonist or an ally/mentor to a story's protagonist. So how do I fit this mercurial supernatural creature into my SAGA warband? Well, part of the genius of SAGA is that the abilities on the Battle Board are not constrained by fidelity to historical fact or high degree of realism. Instead, many of the abilities are best thought of as principles that relate somehow to the faction's martial practices and/or culture. For instance, in SAGA 1.0, the Vikings' LOKI ability allows a Viking player to remove units of enemy Levy or Warriors that number 3 models or fewer. This ability can be interpreted as some form of divine intervention from the Norse trickster god, but it can also interpreted as the Vikings or their off-board allies creating a clever ruse or diversion that either scares off or lure away the enemy models. Similar to the LOKI ability, many of the SAGA 1.0 (and 2.0) Pagan Rus abilities seem like they could have a supernatural origin or may simply be the result of how the Rus and their off-board allies use their surroundings and weather to their advantage. If it's the former, then Baba Yaga could be the source of the ability's supernatural effects. I've ordered blue acrylic tokens to indicate the targets of Blizzard and Biting Cold, but I don't yet have a marker for The Long Winter, which is a table wide effect. This is where Baba Yaga comes in. For my Irish warband, I created a small vignette depicting children throwing rocks. I used it to taunt my opponents and indicate my use of the Sons of Dana ability. For the Pagan Rus, the plan is to do something similar. I am going to create a Baba Yaga vignette that I place on the board when I activate the The Long Winter ability.
  9. Koyote

    Warhamsters 6/5

    I do. I will play my Rus as Jomsvikings or Norse-Gael, so you get an opportunity to try out more of those nifty Norman shooting abilities.
  10. Koyote

    Koyote's Pagan Rus

    I've finished sculpting my Levy's ketill pants. Operation 'Leg Extension' was a success. 🙂 Below are my Brother Vinni shield and axe maidens. The models arrived with very little flash and no deformities or air bubbles. When it's time to paint them, my only concern will be their mail. The indentations that define the rings of the chainmail shirts are so fine and shallow, that I'll have to great care when painting them. If I don't use very thin paint or if I apply too many coats, the indentations will be obscured by the thickness of the paint. Overall, these are gorgeous models and they scale well against Gripping Beast and modified Warhansa minis (see below). However, unless you are a very patient person (it took 3 months and a PayPal claim for them to arrive) or you buy them from a reputable supplier who has them in stock, you may want to think twice before purchasing them.
  11. Koyote

    Koyote's Pagan Rus

    When planning a warband or army for any other tabletop wargame, I find it useful to start with a theme or backstory. This approach may not be for everyone, but for me it fuels my creativity and helps me build a more cohesive and interesting warband. I came to historical wargaming from a fantasy and sci-fi gaming background, so when researching a historical peoples' history, I inevitably find myself focusing on their mythical heroes and villains. In Rus and Slavic myth, the Bogatyr are analogous to Western Europe's knight-errants. The earliest tales of the Bogatyr have their roots in the pre-Christian era. In these stories the Bogatyr exhibit superhuman abilities and their foes are often creatures from myth, like dragons and giants, but in later chronicles, the Bogatyr stories are based upon the historical and semi-historical figures. Perfect! Bogatyrs (1898) A sizeable portion of my Pagan Rus warband will be comprised Gripping Beast's Jomsviking models. Their ketill pants and the shape of their helmets give these models a Rus look. GB's Jomsviking hearthguard are the most impressive models from the Jomsviking line, so they will form a unit of elite fighters. My first instinct was to make the Hearthguard, but then after reading the Swords for Hire section of the Age of Vikings rulebook I changed my mind. The Gall-Gaedhil rules look like a lot of fun, but since these ferocious raiders operated in and around Ireland, fielding them alongside my Rus would be odd. However, thanks to magic of 'counts-as', a principle borrowed from fantasy and sci-fi gaming, I have no problem using the Gall-Gaedhil rules if I field them as a unit of 'counts-as' Bogatyr. Problem solved. 🙂
  12. Koyote

    SAGA New Edition (2018)

    Studio Tomahawk has released Skraelings rules for SAGA 2.0. Rules Battle Board
  13. Koyote

    SAGA New Edition (2018)

    Last Tuesday I played my first game of SAGA 2.0. I love the new rules. Below are some of the changes and my impressions. Movement The requirement that models move in a straight line does take a bit getting used to, but in exchange for the loss a maneuverability, they've removed restrictions on the distance between models from opposing warbands and and certain compulsory charges. The latter were rules that were often overlooked, so doing away with them is a good thing. The Maneuver rule is a brilliant addition to the game. If a unit in open ground is more than 12" from an enemy unit, it is permitted a free movement activation that cannot bring the unit within 12" of an enemy and cannot take the unit over uneven ground. The Maneuver rule speeds up the game and lets straggling units catch up without having to spend SAGA dice on them. Another interesting change is the 'intent' principle. If you intend for your models to be a certain distance away from another model, you express your intent to your opponent. Then, if it turns out that your placement was off by a fraction of an inch, you simply adjust your model's placement to reflect that intent. SAGA Dice Unused SAGA dice left on your battle board no longer reduce the number of SAGA dice rolled during your Orders Phase, so long as the number of dice you generate plus the dice on the board don't exceed 8. This little change lets you bank some extra dice over time. It's especially useful for unused Saga abilities that require rare symbols. Death Stars One of the best changes is the curtailing of SAGA Death Stars. Unlike many other games, SAGA Death Star units don't play themselves. They require careful planning. Nevertheless, in the hands of competent players, these Death Star units can quite formidable. The most common Death Star is a unit of 12 mounted hearthguard equipped with shooting weapons and played by factions that give them the ability to run away when threatened. The melee version of this Death Star combined with killer combat abilities and/or free activations and good defensive abilities is a bit less common, but also very effective. Both types have been nerfed by a new cap on the amount of dice in the unit's initial combat pool. The maximum amount of dice a shooting unit can put into this pool is 8 and for melee it's 16 (these numbers can be doubled by dice gained via SAGA abilities). The new cap softens the punch of Death Star units and creates an incentive to limit Hearthguard units to 8 models. Levies In SAGA 1.0 Levies didn't see much play unless the player's faction had shooting or Levy specific SAGA abilities. For other factions, Levies could be provide some useful ranged attacks, but this had to be balanced against the fact that the Levies don't produce SAGA dice and their armor, melee capabilities, and fatigue cap were all low. In SAGA 2.0, if a unit of Levies numbers 6+ models, it produces a SAGA die. Also, a Levy's base armor is now the same as Warriors, 4/4. It's reduced to 3/3 if the unit is armed with bows, crossbows, or slings, but units armed with javelins or comp bows are 3/4 and Levy units without shooting weapons are 4/4. As before, a Levy unit equipped with shooting weapons generate 1 melee attack die per 3 models, but now Levies without shooting weapons generate 1 melee die per 2 models. Lastly, in SAGA 1.0 a Levy unit became exhausted when it received 2 fatigue tokens. Warriors were exhausted at 3 and Hearthguard and Warlords at 4. In SAGA 2.0 all units have the same fatigue point cap (which is 3), putting them on the same footing as Warriors, Hearthguard, and Warlords. Fatigue As described above, all units are now exhausted when they receive 3 fatigue tokens. Additionally, a unit can never receive more than 3 fatigue tokens, so you cannot exhaust a unit for multiple turns by dumping a ton of fatigue tokens on it. In melee, exhausted units don't lose combat dice, rather their dice suffer a -1 penalty. Also, if an opponent spends an exhausted unit's fatigue tokens, the exhausted unit remains exhausted for the duration of the current melee. A more significant change to the fatigue rules is that in melee, one can use an opponent's fatigue tokens to reduce or raise armor multiple times. For instance, if your opponent has two fatigue tokens, you can use both tokens to reduce the unit's armor by 2 points. If an enemy has 3 fatigue tokens, you could reduce it's armor by 2 and increase your unit's armor by 1. Very cool. The most significant change to the fatigue rules is that a player can spend two of an enemy unit's fatigue tokens to cancel that unit's activation. Before, the ability to cancel a unit's activation was restricted to SAGA abilities possessed by only a handful of factions. Now, everyone can do it. Managing fatigue tokens has always been an important aspect of the game, but now it will be one of the most important factors determining victory and defeat.
  14. Koyote

    Hamster Tuesday

  15. Koyote

    Koyote's Pagan Rus

    Last week, my Warhansa models arrived. Overall, I'm please with the quality. The minis are as-pictured on the website and the detail is good. There are a few air bubbles here an there, but very little flash and fewer mold lines than expected. My only complaint is their overall height. They look like Rus dwarfs. Their heads, arms, hands, and feet are slightly on the heroic-scale side of 28mm, but the length of their torsos and legs are a bit too short. Fortunately, short legs are an easy fix. Using a hobby knife I cut off their lower legs where their leg wraps meet their ketill pants (aka puffy Russian pants). Using leftover rod from the metal javelins I armed them with, I pinned a short length of GS doweling between the two sections of leg. Eventually, I will use GS to extend the length of their ketill pants to cover the GS doweling. I converted 8 out of 12 models in this way. The other 4 models didn't need it. Strange. I'm going to use these as my Pagan Rus levy. To distinguish these models from my warriors and to better represent a levy's 3/3 armor, I replaced their large round shields with small round shields (made by Footsore Miniatures). Below is a size comparison photo. My converted Warhansa Rus is now fairly close in height to 28mm viking miniatures from other manufacturers.