The Older Giant

Start here

Kings of War – The Aire Conflict

Pictures from the KoW Aire Conflict game.

Held at Patriot Games, Leeds and organised by Nick Williams. The format was five rounds lasting 60 minutes each and set at 1200 points. There were 14 players. Restrictions on the lists were to limit Hero and Monster choices to remove spam. I promptly forgot that in the final build but was forgiven at the church of ineptitude by a saintly Nick… thank you.

There were a spread of army types and I got to play against some really good tacticians. Every game is a learning process.

The surprise for me was how good the Orcs can be. Some hard-hitting boys there. Undead elite used well can certainly ruin your day. So can Nature, but in a softer way somehow!

Venue (soft hue of a fogged camera at 9ish in the morning) and goody bag (thanks Nick – it’s these things that count)… the shop staff were friendly and polite and even though the place got busy with other gamers it didn’t spoil the fun one bit. Oh, and the lunchtime sandwiches and cookies were really good too. Too much to eat!

Special mention to Nick’s terrain making – seven tables of fantastic scenery – it really stood out. Even his speed painted army looked great especially with your camera flash on!

Army Pictures…. with Dan King’s snowy battleboard complete with glowing fire – nice.

Nick’s stand-in Undead … glowing eerily…


I took my Salamanders… 1200 points of 2 x Salamander Primes, 2 x Kaisenor Lancers… 2 x Greater Fire Elementals… 1 x Ankylodon Battle Platform.

I couldn’t fit more than 10 points of magic into the above and no wizards and NO Inspiring. Oh dear. It was going to be tough….

Game 1 – Push v Walter’s Undead. Just four units but they were tough. From memory: Vampire on Wyrm, Lykanis, 2 x werewolf hordes, 1 x wraith troop.

I spread out my line too far with only my GFE’s on my left opposite the bulk of The Undead. By the end of turn two i had lost my GFE’s and i think one Salamander Primes. Then it was just a matter of turning the rest to face the onslaught. I was wiped out.

Game 2 – Dominate – Dan Cain’s Empire of Dust. Again, managed to fluff it up and hold back too much when i should have gone forward to take the centre ground. My limited shooting was ineffective and I never could get to the centre ground. Another bad loss.

Game 3 – Control – Mike’s Kingdoms of Men – 2 spear regiments, 1 berserker regiment, 3 arquebusier troops, 2 mounted scout troops, 1 wizard (lighting bolt and inspiring talisman, 1 beast of war). Facing a gun line army for a change so I chose to hoof it across the table. I got sorely beat up for that with some shooting and flank charges but at the end we got one point apiece and got a Draw. This really was the soft end of the lists I got to play against and made a change in pace to really run out and attack. Thanks Mike.

Game 4 – Pillage – Chris’s Orcs. These had two small shooty units but boy did they do well killing off a lancer unit i recall. I failed to push forward on my right and got sorely whacked in the centre and then the left by three very tough units and one mean chariot boss type. By turn 6 I had nothing left on the table and never got more than a few wavered units. Do not underestimate the Orcs!

Game 5 – Invade – Richard’s Nature list – from memory –  two regiments of Earth Elementals, one Horde of Water Elementals with brew of haste, flying dude, Tree Herder and Green Lady Nature herself. Basically lost my two cavalry units and then a GFE on my right flank after some cunning moves by Richard. I managed to keep one Salamander Prime and the Anklyodon on the table and into the other half but lost massively on points difference. A well constructed list and very nicely modelled and painted. Thanks for the game Richard it was a joy to be slowly pummelled not ripped apart for a change.

What did I learn?

Well, don’t take Salamanders again… well no. They are okay. I just failed to use them well. I should have stopped a unit and taken some inspiring. Also, I needed some buffs to my hit rolls. Just having Crushing strength is not enough.

At this points levels, most of my opponents were taking lean and mean forces with a core of two or three killy units plus close support for magic and shooting and Inspiring.

I should have heeded Walters words and kept my force tight and self-supporting. The first of my units to go were usually my cavalry and the longest lived usually the Ankyldoon.

Almost ignore the scenario at least till turn 5! Go in hard to remove units in one turn by multi charging. I did not really do that and neither did i hardly get to hit a flank but did get flank and rear charged myself.

Play some games, see how better players do things. Put a list together that really works for you and practice with it – I need to!

I have yet to see a “bad” KoW army, just different skill and experience levels of players. Go on, play in a tourney… you’ll love it.

Results – I have replaced my poor photo’s with Nicks excellent summary….


Edit: Dan put up a video of the event on youtube with his excellent photo’s… Link.

Kings of War – Greater Fire Elementals

I put together a couple of Greater Fire Elementals for my KoW Salamander army as there is a tournament coming up soon. They are a decent unit in the game, with 8 attacks at Crushing Strength(4). A couple of them seem useful on the battlefield and should do more damage than the equivalent points of Gekkotah Hunters I used back at Elemental Kings.

The models are Scibor resin bases mounted on Renedra 50x50mm plastic bases. The Fire Elementals are a couple of Games Workshop plastic Flamers of Tzeentch with cartridge glue flames to break up the smoother lines of the model.

Painted with several Vallejo Game Colour paints and based with  Javis static grass using PVS glue. BAse edge is painted with Brunel Frnaklin Burnt Umber paint (a great colour for earthy bases and only 1.49 from B&M’s for 200ml).

I decided to give OSL (Object Source Lighting) a try by imagining the red and yellow light bouncing off the nearby hard rock surfaces, with deeper shadow on the opposite sides.

It seems to have worked out fine

– good enough for me for a first attempt.

Total time to build, paint, flock about 90 minutes tops for both models.


Elemental Kings Event

Sunday the 11th September was a day of fantasy gaming at Stockport’s Element Games…

100 minutes per game.

Game 1: Pillage

Game 2: Push

Game 3: Control

Game 4: Dominate

The Day…

It was a great tournament with a mix of player abilities (phew!) with me being completely new. 26 players. Round 1 was random draw, after that it was swiss pairing.

Game 1 (v James’ Salamanders): A turf war with similar forces. Not really knowing what I should do I just lined up as we had some 6 tokens spread out across both sides of the table. You win by controlling more than the enemy at the end of the game. My opponent soon got to grips and pushed in against my troops near a token meaning he would have an extra one if he just consolidated. By the end he controlled two, the others were contested or uncontested. I just didn’t have anything left that could grab control of two objectives. Ah well.

Game 2 (v Sean’s Abyssal Dwarfs) – A really good use of stand-in models and a joy to play against. The aim here was to grab and push three tokens into the other players table half as I recall. All three were in the centre part of the table . Similar problem to game 1. I didn’t think I was doing too bad, but still got beat up. My list was a bit soft and not using it well showed (the long line v. the enemy picking a point to concentrate on). At one point Sean advised using massed shooting at one of his hordes which did kill it. Sadly, the units used got mauled badly over the next couple of turns and soon I had nothing left to fill the gap in the line. Classic use of force where it was needed to break a thinner enemy line. Mauled again!

Somewhere around lunchtime the back banner snapped off my Clan Lord on the Fire Drake – oh well. It really needs a metal banner pole.

Game 3 (v Steve’s Undead – elite force) – Lots of nicely done elite level undead here. I wasn’t really watching the enemy line up too closely and went for the march in and attack strategy. Wrong! I moved my line up and got rear charged by flyers. Crushing defeat by flyer led forces as everything was killed to a Salamander. Nice elite undead army.

Game 4 –  (v Hal’s Nature) – Lovely scratchbuild and converted army. I didn’t over extend my line (but still bit too long) and didn’t push forward too far so managed to get a better game in against a force with a couple of fluffy flyers in it. He did use front arcs well to stop me getting some charges in and I just seemed to crumble on my left flank then was worked to across the table. In the end he got the big kills on turn 6. However, we rolled a turn 7 and then he really got my points off me as I was forced to sit and wait for it or rush in and try to score some damage. In the end I came off worse and my Clan Lord on his Fire Drake was turned to minute steak. We misread the scenario (Dominate). I had about 400 point left but it was on one side of the centre line. The goal is to be within 12 inch of the table centre not centre line. I took about 600 points off him so did better than previous games, but the scenario gave me nothing for being too far from the centre. Our mistake, my loss otherwise I would have got a couple more tournament points!

Four good opponents in my games. All finished within the time (100 mins per game).

Game 1: I lost 19-1

Game 2: I lost 18-2

Game 3: – I lost 20-0

Game 4: I lost 18-2

Got 4 points for painting so my score was 9 out of possible 84.

Surprise, I got 26th out of 26 and won the wooden spoon and a small prize (thanks guys).

Game 1:

game 2

Game 3:

Game 4:

Additional army pics…

Congratulations to Chris Walsh on the Best Painted award – well deserved.


I realized at the end my 5 units of Hunters were fluffy and died easily. 500 points invested in these was too much. I had to use the models I had but would not use these again.

Advice from a noob after the above….

Don’t spread out too much! You need weight of numbers and the ability to block rear and flank chargers.If your line is too thin it will be broken and then your force will crumble from enfilading attacks.

Use complimentary units to buff and support (magic is good for bane chanting, healing and surging more so than direct damage IMO).

Make sure you check the Arc of Sight of yours and enemy units as that detrmines whether charges can happen.

If you do get hit in the front and flank in one turn of combat even your hardest units can be killed in that turn. I was taking around 95 or 100 attack dice against an Ankylodon at one point which took some 16 points of damage and couldn’t make the snake eyes Nerve test even on a re-roll.

Don’t get too confident in your Defence 6 creatures. Even a modest unit can reduce that to 5 or even 4 with Crushing Strength and Thunderous Charge.

Go back to the rules and check where you are not sure.

Read the mission rules and work out how to deploy and get in a position to win – don’t go all over the table!

Look at where the other player is deploying his units and respond appropriately.

Practice tactics and combat before events !! Check out the Vassal Engine HERE as you can get a Kow module for it.

Always paint your forces to a tabletop standard and base them as you might be penalised for Tournament points.

Edit: The TO Darren has made a lovely post on the Mantic Forum. You can see it HERE. His pictures are HERE.



New Kings of War Army – ready for Battle

I have just finished my army for todays (in about 8 hours time) Elemental Kings event at Element Games, Stockport.

I may need a little luck as I only have one game under my belt and definitely no KoW tournament experience.

The quickest army to get finished were my part painted Warhammer Lizardmen, hence they became KoW Salamanders, 2000 points.

A Clan Lord on Fire Drake, a Herald on Raptor mount, 2 regiments of Kaisenor Lancers, 2 Ankylodon battle platforms, 2 Salamander Prime Regiments and 5 troops of Ghekottah Hunters with blowpipes. Add in some ensorcelled armour for the hero and a Brew of Strength for a cavalry unit and that’s it.

No idea if it is good or bad… ah well, I really need the experience.



Flames of War – two AAR’s – 1420 points Late War

I played a couple of games of Flames of War a few weeks ago at the newly revamped Element Games North West Gaming Centre.

Game 1 – My British 11th Armoured v Germans

I got to face off against Hammy in a Free For All. I took the table edge that allowed him to put his 88mm guns in the centre on a hill and overlook his objectives. Bit silly of me I guess. After that I placed my infantry platoons one on each objectives and backed them up with the tank platoons.

I tried to move in on his left flank objective and used my tanks to whittle down his platoons. I managed to kill a couple of his defending platoons.

Hammy used ranged gunfire to try to kill and bail my tanks and eventually made a move with his panthers across to my left flank. I managed to take out one panther somehow.

In a war of attrition Hammy killed a couple of my platoons and we ended up with a few British infantry teams slogging it out with a couple of panthers over the objective. Somehow the panthers all died but I failed a last man standing and the objective was left wide open but with only distant German infantry to try to take it.

As we were running out of time and no one had a great advantage in terms of taking an objective in the next two turns we called it a Draw but with some two/three platoons a piece dead it was not a great day for collecting VP’S! Fun little game that dusted off my models after months on the shelf (and surprise that the tanks didn’t go down to 88m guns as quickly as I suspected they would).

Game 2 – my Germans v Dan’s Allied 9th Lancer tanks (6 platoons and 4 platoons respectively).

The German Grenadierkompanie 352 from the Fortress Italy book was Confident Veteran. I took 2 platoons of rifle MG’s, 2 PAK40’s, 4xPanzer 4 H, 3 x StuH, 3 recon cars (223/222’s) and limited Stuka air support. The Allies had two tank platoons, recon and an infantry platoon plus limited air support as I recall.

Mission: cannot remember – it was lengthwise so Pincer I think. I defended and placed an objective to the back right. Stupid move that may well have cost me the game. Dan placed his objective front and left to make a quick grab. I used infantry to defend that objective. My Panzer 4’s were in Ambush (or immediate ambush…?)

I should have put my objective in the centre with the PAk40’s to provide support for the attack to my left flank. I always think of the right move after the game. Deployment is my main Achilles heel I am sure.

Dan ignored my further away PAK protected objective with the 2iC in favour of an all out attack on his nearer objective. He used air to neutralise my air and recon for taking off GtG. His tanks tried to soften my infantry up then he launched an assault that killed off about half my infantry. I sprang my tank ambush behind the  hill near the objective and used it to reinforce the defenders. The Germans managed to beat back the attack with infantry and panzers at a small loss. The Allied infantry platoon collapsed and was lost. At that point it looked like I might just win this fight.

Then the Allied tanks came in and I decided to bring my newly arrived StuH’s on from the side and take side shots at the approaching Allied tanks. Guess what, I roll 3 one’s and whiff. In return the StuH’s are slaughtered next turn (I forgot stormtrooper but it would not have helped as cover was too far away). I lost the StuH’s in one turn of Allied firing.

At that point I was on the back foot. I brought on infantry reserves to try to counter the tanks but they were machine-gunned down in their first turn i recall.

Finally my recon cars came on to hide behind the hill as the Allied tanks rumbled on. Dan’s air support hit a couple of 222’s but somehow only bailed one.

My PAK40’s did nothing all game as the enemy kept away from them.

Finally, my Panzer 4’s and recon cars were killed and my company broke. A 5-2 to Dan I think. Fun game but I should have done better in deployment and could well have won.


The Eagle has landed (almost)….

One other mini project I did work on for an evening recently… a model Space 1999 Eagle Transporter. These re-makes of 1970’s kits are easy to build and look great as scenery for 20 or even 28mm gaming figures.

I now have a companion to my old 1970’s model kit – that one has seen some damage (the landing pads are easily snapped off when you are a kid or careless adult).

The only thing to watch for is not to let the glue go around the outside of the passenger module as it can discolour the plastic a little (the module joins from two halves lengthwise).

The last thing to do for me was to spray the model black to match the older one I have for a possible RPG scenario. Otherwise you can use the decals supplied to embellish the kit.


Summer Update – Flames, AoF & Kings of War

Well, it’s been a while…my first update for some time. I have been pretty busy but found time to either blog a bit or actually get on and get some armies built and painted.

Early April saw a family trip to York and a walk round the town, walls and museums. Excellent place to spend a couple of days. As it was a Roman and a Viking settlement there’s a lot of history. Sadly, the Yorvik museum and York Dungeon was closed as it had flooded a few months earlier.

Way back in mid-April I took my son and his friends paintballing. It was good to get out but the journey to the centre was a nightmare of off-road pot-holed track before arriving at a quagmire of a wooded area. At times it was impossible to walk let alone run over a number of the combat arenas. Still, it got the cobwebs well and truly blown away!

Back in early June the family went to the UK Games Expo at the NEC. I didn’t really take any pics this year. The main venue is now a large arena / hall and not the hotel setting of previous years. TO be honest, I didn’t like it. Far too much to try to see and in a random fashion and without the cosiness of the hotel rooms and corridors. I guess the show has now grown too big and commercial for my liking.

I chose to build and start painting and blog later. Glad I did as I have got quite a bit done.

First, Flames of War. Since Corrivalry 2016 I wanted to get a German force completed. In a way I now have two forces. A Stug Batterie and a Grenadier Company. Nice and simple and based around the plastic  starter set. I added some more battlefront StuG’s (and the StuH variant) along with a heavy platoon (HMGs and 81mm mortars) and four Wespe’s (I know – expensive for what they are – I just love them). I also added in a platoon of three plastic SdKfz222’s as a recon unit (one was slightly modified to be a 223 radio car complete with broom bristle antennae (I don’t like the metal ‘radiator’ piping aerial on the battlefront 223 model).

Then I noticed the box of Mantic Kings of War Undead sitting at the side of my desk and instead of getting the decals on the German tanks I started building a 2000 point Undead force for KoW. I added the contents of the Undead Elite Army

I needed to get some more Plastic KoW Undead (they are cheap points wise which is a mixed blessing) and so bought the 2 player set that has the rulebook and some Dwarfs in it as well. Guess what? The Dwarfs were built as an “interrupt mode” between Undead batches and expanded out to include TWO units of Giant Badger Riders for another 2K points army. The Brock cavalry are soooo nice and at 26 Attack dice for 10 they can really throw out some hurt.

The Kings of War rule set just seems to streamline the game and make Fantasy a joy again. (having used some Dwarfs and my old GW Goblins to play against my son (and lost to him).

Finally, I built some more 6mm brigades for ACW “Altar of Feedom“. They aren’t finished yet but when they are I will be able to run most of the game battles and the new Vicksburg Campaign.

I still need to finish off the woods I built last year. They are made from black foamboard with mixed clump foliage glued on top. the underneath needs to have more steady supports. The clump foliage also needs more glue as some of it tends to come off when you are gaming and moving scenery.

There was also some resin railway to base up for AoF too. It’s pretty brittle and must have a solid base of some sort. I gave the resin a clean in soapy water then let it air dry before gluing it to the bases with a grab adhesive from a cartridge gun.

Once these last items are painted I then need to tidy up the game table area and then I can run an AoF battle – the brigades are all labelled up.