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Author Topic: Ne Cede Malis: Fortress Foundations  (Read 8865 times)

Offline AKULA

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Re: Ne Cede Malis: The Order and the Dark
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2023, 09:42:04 PM »
Great to see you back at it  8)
     

Offline Olsson

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Re: Ne Cede Malis: The Order and the Dark
« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2023, 08:12:35 PM »

To echo the rest, happy to see you back at LAF. I check in on the site on a regular enough basis, but always fun to have another place to see it. And the interactive aspect of the forum tends to lend itself something different if you ask me. The Black Order is, as always, a delight to see and your photography puts them on another level. What tricks in particular do you use to vanish the bases in the more artistic photos?

Offline Knight-Captain Tyr

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Re: Ne Cede Malis: The Order and the Dark
« Reply #17 on: June 22, 2023, 09:06:20 AM »
Thanks guys :)

To echo the rest, happy to see you back at LAF. I check in on the site on a regular enough basis, but always fun to have another place to see it. And the interactive aspect of the forum tends to lend itself something different if you ask me. The Black Order is, as always, a delight to see and your photography puts them on another level. What tricks in particular do you use to vanish the bases in the more artistic photos?

Cheers mate - agree, it's also a bit of a nicer place to interact with people than Facebook/Instagram etc. For the bases - just clone brush! I use GIMP, which has a slight learning curve but provides most of Photoshop's functionality whilst being free, which is nice. If you set up your models on 3D terrain, it's quite easy to use a bit of subtle clone brush to 'blur' over the bases.

Next big thing (still sharing direct from the website, but will be on entirely new content soon - our group got really into Frostgrave, and we've been having a blast with Thaw of the Lich Lord. I've done something unusual and house ruled the Heritor rules from Ghost Archipelago into regular FG...and so far it's working surprisingly well. More below.


Concept:

For the inaugural Spotlight article, we're looking at the Black Order's first steps into the world of Frostgrave! Or more accurately, into the city of RÓmagrad. Ancient beyond measure, RÓmagrad is a city long ago conquered by the Dark and transformed into a necropolis. Functionally, it's a perfect proxy for Felstad.

The 'hook' for the Order's Frostgrave warband came when I played a couple games with some friends, and liked the system enough to try a campaign: Thaw of the Lich Lord. This suits the Order perfectly thematically as it's about preventing an ancient lich from rising and reconquering the lands of the living - ideal for the Ne Cede Malis setting.

In the first game we played, the Thaumaturge I created (Seven Mountain Wounded Elk, as he's known to his mates) was taken out of action and the entire warband slaughtered by undead. Rather than take this as a sign that the Order's stars were ill-fated, I decided this would be an excellent hook for the Order to redouble its efforts - and send one of its captains into the city with a band of veterans to discover just what became of Seven Mountain.
For the longest time I've had the urge to do an 'out-of-combat' diorama for my warband, showing the various warband members resting, recovering, training, and generally preparing for the next encounter.

Something like a 'party screen' in a video RPG, or, if you're old enough to remember it, the actual camp area in a game like Dragon Age: Origins.
Using my SAGA display board and some old scenery pieces, I've started to mess around a bit with an out-of-game area for my warband, as seen below:


Models:

This is a pretty mixed bunch:

-Vaclav, Mikulas and Reiftyr: Fireforge Spanish Heavy Infantry bodies with a Fireforge Templar head and another from the Fireforge Russian kit, Fireforge Forgotten World Northmen arms and Fireforge Templar shields - plus obligatory green stuffed fur pelts.

-Knight-Initiate Casimir: Pretty involved! A Fireforge Living Dead body greenstuffed to cover up wounds and holes, with Frostgrave Soldier arms, a heater shield of unknown provenance, and a helm from a third party STL for the Conquest game by Para Bellum downsized slightly.

-Leif and Torrek: Wolves from Iron Gate Scenery.

-Knight-Captain Tyr: Body from Guillaume le Pťlerin by Mierce Miniatures, arms from the Perry Miniatures Foot Knights set, sword from Gripping Beast Viking Hirdmen, and a helm from the Vile and Valiant STLs.

-One Jackal Laughing Slaughter: Body from the Tibetan sherpa set by Crusader Miniatures, spade from the Fireforge Living Dead Peasants sprue, bird from one of the Frostgrave Wizard kits.

-Bjaering: Body from Perry Agincourt English archers, head from Gripping Beast Dark Age infantry, cloak from Fireforge Templars, fur sculpted.

-Tolmir: Body from Otherworld Miniatures, head from Gripping Beast Dark Age infantry.


On the tabletop:

So far (we're on scenario 4 at the time of writing) it's been a blast. I'm using the Heritor rules from Ghost Archipelago to represent Knight-Captain Tyr, and as you'll see above, I've chosen Heritor abilities which suggest martial prowess or great resolve, rather than magical ability, befitting a mortal human.

For the rest of the warband, I've gone with a pretty straightforward set of melee fighters to support Tyr (as befits the Order's way of fighting) with a single Ranger to scout ahead, as well as a pair of war hounds to give Tyr those critical outnumbering bonuses in combat! Meanwhile, One Jackal - the sole spellcaster in the group - uses a healing spell and a lightning bolt spell to provide a bit of ranged support and keep the enemy's shooters from putting too much pressure on the Order's knights.

Now back to the corpse-city of RÓmagrad - on to scenario 4!

" ... the seventh wave of Thrall stumbled and climbed over the slippery, piled dead and Mazzarin saw The Watcher with them and at last knew the number of his days."

-Thrall Flavor Text, Myth: The Fallen Lords

Offline Pattus Magnus

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Re: Ne Cede Malis: Into the Frozen City
« Reply #18 on: June 22, 2023, 04:19:46 PM »
Thatís a great introduction to the campaign- the characters and background add a lot of interest! Thatís a cool way to work a total-party-kill into the narrative, too. I must keep that in mind for the next time something similar happens to one of my bands of adventurersÖ

Offline Knight-Captain Tyr

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Re: Ne Cede Malis: Into the Frozen City
« Reply #19 on: June 22, 2023, 08:55:25 PM »
I've got the time, so updating with the first campaign report (admittedly halfway through the campaign, but give me a break...  lol )


The Black Order enters Felstad - or more accurately, RÓmagrad, in the Order's tongue - in search of an old ally. We're playing Frostgrave: Thaw of the Lich Lord and we're up to Scenario 4: The Storm of Undeath.

In the last few games of the Lich Lord campaign, the Order has done reasonably well for itself against three other warbands: two Summoners and a Necromancer. Under Knight-Commander Tyr, the Order has recovered enough artifacts and riches among the ruins to justify deploying some more elite units, including a couple of Rangers, more Men-at-Arms, a Knight-Initiate and even a mighty warhorse (using the Spellcaster magazine rules).


This time, the Order's attempting to delve further into RÓmagrad to find the source of the undead menace in the city. As the aerial view above shows, we replaced the central plaza in Storm of Undeath with a large multi-storeyed ruin of sorts - perhaps an old forum long since fallen into disrepair. Plenty of treasures in the centre (and corpses).


Under cover of a snowstorm, the Order advances - knight-initiate Casimir spurs his charger forward, flanked by Tyr's hounds Leif and Torrek, with the knight-commander not far behind.


Trouble isn't far away; the barbarian servants of a Summoner enter the forum from the north-east. The big brute in the vanguard is well known to the Order; that giant axe has claimed several victims in previous skirmishes.


As if on cue, the servants of a Necromancer enter the forum from the north-west. Stealthier than the Summoner's forces, these soldiers are supported by unliving thralls recently raised by the Necromancer himself.


It's not just the Necromancer who has the support of unworldly creatures; the Summoner brings several inhuman horrors with him, one of which attacks the wizard's forces, temporarily breaking free of the spell of binding forced upon it.


Tyr and Casimir seize the initiative. Storming into the central forum, the two knights slam into the Necromancer's forces, killing one and pushing back another. Torrek, however, is sent back limping, dealt a mighty blow by a brute of a man bearing the Necromancer's colours.


Before long, the forum descends into chaos. The Necromancer's forces have seized a pair of ancient relics from the centre, as have the Summoner's servants. The Order's infantry under Reiftyr, captain of the Guard, manage to hold the centre long enough to pluck another relic from the earth. However, as if on cue, lightning strikes the forum, badly wounding one of the Order's apothecaries - and the earth begins to shudder and shake as the living dead claw their way from the earth!

An unspoken truce of sorts emerges as the Order's warriors find themselves beset on all sides by the undead, and the Summoner and Necromancer turn to their own warbands, ordering them to retreat in good order with the treasures they have seized.

Before they turn to leave, the Summoner looks back across the forum to the Order's embattled infantry. With a cruel half-smile, the Summoner speaks a word of power and the air in the centre of the forum seems to split and tear, and from somewhere else something coalesces into reality...


...the spirit of a skinwalker, a wendigo in the tongues of the Far West, materialises in the centre. Lurching forward on limbs held together by skinless sinew and bloody tendons, the skinwalker-demon slams into Vaclav, an Order guardsman, dealing him a near-mortal blow. But before Vaclav loses consciousness, he thrusts his arming sword deep into the beast's gut, spilling entrails and viscera across the earth. The beast bellows, and a second later howls again as Tyr slams into the demon from the left, hewing through the beast's neck with his runic blade. The beast shudders, and in a split second the forces binding it to the material plane dissipate; with a skeletal grin, the beast's animus vanishes, and a sack of rotting offal and gore collapses to the earth in its place.

Hefting Vaclav onto his shoulder, Tyr looks around him; seeing the numbers of living dead beginning to swell, and noting the Necromancer and Summoner falling back in good order, the Order commander grimly calls the retreat.

Post-Game

A pretty brutal game all told. Storm of Undeath requires all the warbands involved to make straight for the centre of the board and grab treasures, trying not to be hit by lightning, cut down by undead clawing their way out of the earth, and avoiding rival warbands. The potential for this to be a total bloodbath was definitely high.

However, in practice, this wasn't too bad a game for the Order or the other warbands. No-one actually died; Torrek was Badly Wounded by one of the Necromancer's servants, and both the Necromancer and Summoner's men absconded with a decent amount of treasure, earning a lot of XP in the process. Tyr and his warriors cut down most of the undead in the central square (fittingly, considering the Order's chief enemies are the living dead).

The real heart-stopping moment was when the Summoner managed to unleash a Major Demon on the table. Things could have gone VERY badly for the Order, especially with most of the melee fighters having suffered more than 50% HP damage by that point! It all came down to Vaclav - pictured above - absolutely fighting out of his skin to deal a mighty 10(!) points of damage to the Major Demon in its first melee. That granted Tyr and Casimir time to arrive and banish the demon for good.

Another event - not pictured above - was that the Ghoul King and his servants actually turned up on the very last turn, behind the retreating Necromancer and his forces. This could have really swung things terribly for the Necromancer, as the Ghoul King is an absolute nightmare to face in melee. However, some judicious use of Fog and Leap saw the Necromancer play pretty deftly to mislead and misdirect the Ghouls in time for the sorcerer to escape safely with the treasure.

All in all, a really good game, and the next scenario - Run of the Rangifer - should be very interesting. Wraith Knights look like a nightmarish enemy to face, and even Tyr - who's pretty beefed up by this point in the campaign, having discovered a Ring of Life and Crystal Rose in this scenario - might find it tricky to take them on.

Whatever the future holds, it's been a blast so far - on to scenario 5!

Here's where the Order stands after this game:




Offline Knight-Captain Tyr

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Re: Ne Cede Malis: Into the Frozen City
« Reply #20 on: June 24, 2023, 12:29:37 PM »



Concept:

This time it's the quintessential soldiery of the Black Order - the Citadel Guard. This unit is meant to represent the core of the Order's professional fighting force. Whilst they're not full knights, the Guard serve as the Order's backbone in every battle and from their ranks the very best are chosen to become knight-initiates.

I wanted the Guard to mirror the real-life professional soldiery of many Military Orders in the Baltics and the Levant; the Teutonic Order called these warriors halbbruder, and to be honest, they were actually a bit more than common soldiers; they weren't quite rich enough to be full-fledged knights but they were definitely a cut above the "average" soldier. I figured that the depredations of the Dark would probably mean that the Order relies on client/subjugated peoples for the majority of their manpower, and therefore the Guard would already be something of an elite.

With this in mind, in a future entry I'll cover the other roles the Guard play on the battlefield. Today I'm looking at the front-rankers in the Guard whose duty it is to be the living shield that holds the line against the endless tides of the undead - or die trying.

Oh yes - I'd be remiss without mentioning one (obvious) source of inspiration for the Guard: the humble Warriors of Myth: The Fallen Lords and Myth II: Soulblighter. Just one look at these guys should be enough to tell you where I got the idea for the shields from...


Models:

These guys are very simple - they're Victrix Norman Infantry with sculpted furs and shields from the Fireforge Templars and Teutonics sets. I wanted a bit more room on the shields for the chevrons, and Victrix shields have a boss in the very centre, so the Fireforge shields seemed a better fit.


I've also used Fireforge's Spanish Infantry as a basis for the Citadel Guard, as you'll see below; these are a bit more involved, as the resin Fireforge uses is not great quality and needs a lot of work to be usable. I've swapped out a lot of the heads (which were unusable, covered in mold lines or soft on detail) for Fireforge Russian Infantry helms, and again, sculpted on furs and used Fireforge shields.

The bannerman is a Fireforge Spanish Infantry body with a Templar Infantry helm, and a sword from Fireforge's Living Dead Warriors. I also nicked the banner from that kit, flipped it 90 degrees and attached it to a spear! Works pretty well.


On the tabletop:

The Guard sees an awful lot of action in basically every game type. In SAGA they're most commonly Warriors in whichever faction I'm playing. A blob of 12 is usually a great investment; you can't ignore a 12-strong blob of warriors, no matter which faction they're part of, as it's just too many attacks and scoring bodies to disregard. In Frostgrave and Rangers of Shadow Deep they're similarly the core of my warband; steadfast, reliable Men-at-Arms who can take a punch, dish one out, and still be standing when it's time to claim objectives.

Elsewhere, they've been used as Northern Alliance and Varangur Clansmen in Kings of War, and as Huamn Warriors in Oathmark. I'm tempted to try them as Asklanders in The Ninth Age, and, I'm pretty sure theywill see further use in some form or another when Warhammer: The Old World releases.

Next time I'll look at the Guard's ranged reserves, as well as the champions among the Guard who wield massive two-handed weapons, fighting in tandem with their shield-bearing brethren.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2023, 12:37:17 PM by Knight-Captain Tyr »

Offline Knight-Captain Tyr

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Re: Ne Cede Malis: The Citadel Guard
« Reply #21 on: July 02, 2023, 10:13:48 AM »



Concept:

Fans of Myth: The Fallen Lords and Myth II: Soulblighter, I beg your forgiveness! (Sorta...)

It'll be no surprise at all to the above that this unit spotlight is an homage to the Myth games in all their dark and wonderful glory. The Children of Si'anwon are of course a direct nod to the Thrall of the Myth universe. Thrall are the Dark's foot soldiers in that universe, and the most common (and deceptively dangerous) unit types in those games - one is an annoyance; a horde is a real danger, and it's no different for their incarnation in the Ne Cede Malis setting.

I've wanted to do a Thrall homage for ages, and when North Star released their Revenant box set for Oathmark, I figured the time had come. The Children of Si'anwon aren't a perfect 1:1 recreation of the Thrall, but hopefully they are close enough that the inspiration is clear. Just have a look at their Myth counterparts below:



Models:

Starting with the Oathmark Revenant kit, I used the arms and torsos from this set. The Oathmark kit comes with two-handed axes, but really they weren't big enough for the fearsome ax of the Thrall. I needed a cleaver that looked like it could inflict some real damage. So I went through my bits box and ripped out every single comically oversized axehead I could find; from Frostgrave Barbarians and Gnolls to Fireforge Templars and other more esoteric sets.

For the heads, pretty simple; Thrall aren't perfectly preserved and are pretty much zombies with axes in varying states of degradation, so I took heads from the Fireforge Living Dead sets, Mantic Zombies and Ghouls and the GW Skulls sets.

Finally, one of the most distinctive features of the Thrall - apart from the giant cleavers - are the shoulderpads. I couldn't find anything that worked for ages. Until, one day, I happened upon the Anvil Industry website and noticed that their bits range - which is extensive at the best of times - included medieval-style shoulder pads! Problem solved. I ordered a bunch in varying styles and set to work.


I tried to keep the paint job pretty simple on these guys. Rusted armour and corpses in various states of decay, unified by dark green garb and splashes of gore to visually tie them to Myth's Thrall.


On the tabletop:

Gamewise, these guys will do for virtually anything that's undead. In Oathmark, I'll run them as Revenant Linebreakers as that profile reflects their giant axes. Elsewhere, they'll do for Warriors or Mindless in Saga: Age of Magic. In Frostgrave, they'll do for virtually any Undead profile, although I'm increasingly tempted to make a homebrew Undead bestiary...



Offline Olsson

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Re: Ne Cede Malis: The Children of Si'anwon
« Reply #22 on: July 02, 2023, 10:19:10 AM »
I quite like the amount of terrain you have on your Frostgrave board. It is often the unsung hero of games, you see it more than you do the miniatures after all. And I am still jealous of the cards, yet to figure out a way to get mine printed/made.

You paint the Thralls to actually make them look disgusting and terrifying, befitting more of a horror theme which I do enjoy.

Offline Grumpy Gnome

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Re: Ne Cede Malis: The Children of Si'anwon
« Reply #23 on: July 02, 2023, 04:57:24 PM »
Brilliant as always mate.
Home of the Grumpy Gnome

https://thegrumpygnome.home.blog/

Offline Daeothar

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Re: Ne Cede Malis: The Children of Si'anwon
« Reply #24 on: July 03, 2023, 07:20:12 AM »
This project truly is a sight to behold. The chosen miniatures and the paintjobs are top notch, but the fluff lifts them up even further.

Can't wait for the continuation of the Frostgrave campaign!  8)
Miniatures you say? Well I too, like to live dangerously...
Find a Way, or make one!

Offline Knight-Captain Tyr

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Re: Ne Cede Malis: The Children of Si'anwon
« Reply #25 on: July 07, 2023, 02:03:06 PM »
Thanks, guys :)

Couple things I've been working on lately, in no particular order...






Offline Knight-Captain Tyr

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Re: Ne Cede Malis: Bits and Bobs
« Reply #26 on: July 08, 2023, 09:25:34 AM »
Oh yes, I should probably mention this happened.


While it's really exciting (and I have big plans for this), it's also an absolute nightmare to work with. The plastic is pretty thick and you've got to carve out each window/doorway individually. Can tell it's an older kit.




Starting to look OK though.

The plan is to use the Zvezda castle walls for the outer curtain, and the large building for the Great Hall in the inner ward. The Renedra gatehouse and walls will provide a higher inner curtain.


Offline OSHIROmodels

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Re: Ne Cede Malis: Castle Foundations
« Reply #27 on: July 08, 2023, 10:08:52 AM »
Cracking updates  8)
cheers

James

https://www.oshiromodels.co.uk/

Twitter account -     @OSHIROmodels
Instagram account - oshiromodels

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Offline Seditiosus

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Re: Ne Cede Malis: Castle Foundations
« Reply #28 on: July 08, 2023, 01:30:43 PM »
glad to see you back!

where is that siege tower from? it looks familiar, but I can't place it...

Offline Knight-Captain Tyr

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Re: Ne Cede Malis: Castle Foundations
« Reply #29 on: July 09, 2023, 12:34:52 PM »
Cracking updates  8)

Cheers!

glad to see you back!

where is that siege tower from? it looks familiar, but I can't place it...

Thanks! It's from Printable Scenery. A lot of stringing, but will come off with a bit of steel wool application I think.

Something completely different that's been distracting me lately...








 

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