maanantai 23. toukokuuta 2016

Taking Casualties

Hi folks!

Today I'll present you with the latest ace up my gromril chainmail sleeve: Age of Sigmar Casualty Markers!

Yup, I've gone through all the effort it takes to find material, edit material and multiply material to create casualty markers for several Warhammer races. Took me a few weeks to accomplish but I think it was worth it.

For many years I've been wandering in the depths of Google Search trying to find Warhammer casualty markers that I could print out and use. I was so sure someone had already done this but no, there was nothing to be found except pics of markers made out of actual models (which in my opinion takes far too much effort and money considering that they're just for decoration).
Finally admitting the hopelessness of my search, I grabbed my forgehammer and walked to the anvil, starting the long process of finding the ingredients for my very own casualty markers.

First of all I fired up my copy of Warhammer Online: Return of Reckoning and took one of my in-game characters for a tour around the open virtual world, searching for corpses suitable to my dark schemes.
Each time I stumbled upon a dead body I zoomed in, hid my UI/HUD and jumped my character high into the air while taking a screenshot. I repeated this countless times with dozens of corpses to find the ones I would eventually use in my markers.

The next step was editing. With my trusty photo-editing tools I picked out the corpse from the rest of the screenshot and hid any weapons in the pics by painting over them with the ground texture. The markers were ready, now I just had to multiply them to be distributed as handy PDF files of 24-30 markers each.

Copy/paste was my favorite tool in the third step. I put one marker on an empty Word-file, scaled it to fit the 28mm scale of Warhammer models (with a ruler) and finally copy/pasted it all over the place. I saved them as PDF and printed them out.

Once I had the marker-clusters on paper I glued them on pieces of cardboard and left them under the weight of heavy books for one night. The next morning I started the cutting marathon!

Each file containing 30 markers per page, I had soon cut out a total of 120 casualty markers for four different races.This was the most time-consuming part but watching TV, Netflix or HBO while at it helps a lot. 
After all this I had a whole bunch of stiff cardboard casualty markers to add a little character to my battlefields of Age of Sigmar!

Here are some of the markers in action. Although I'm saying it myself, the board looked quite stunning after the battle with bodies of orruks and freeguilders littering the grassfield!

After all the effort and pain I went through in the process of making these markers I decided that no other human being should have to endure it involuntarily, so I will now give them to you to use as you please. 
The community is only as strong as the collective efforts of those who contribute to it!

So far I've made casualty markers for Freeguilds, Free Peoples, Skeletons, Zombies, Beastmen, Chaos Warriors, Marauders, Exile  Aelfs, Orruks, Grots and Duardin. You are free to view and download them from the links below:

FreeguilderOrrukDuardinGrotMarauderWarriorExile AelfZombieSkeleton

I hope you enjoy the selection, but don't hesitate to contact me if you have a specific race in mind that you think would deserve its own marker too!

Here's a quick preview of all the casualty markers currently available:

Remember these simple steps to get these markers on your own table:
1. Download the PDF you want
2. Print it out
3. Glue it on cardboard (optional)
4. Cut out the markers
5. Enjoy!

Cheers, mates.

lauantai 21. toukokuuta 2016

Campaign: Coastal Terror

Hello there!

After a couple of weeks of intense planning, thinking and writing I managed to put together another story-driven campaign for you to enjoy. This time I paid more attention to making the whole thing more army-neutral as in the last campaign some good people noticed that warmachines were playing an important part in many of the battles, making things awkward for armies that have no warmachines at all.

I call this new campaign by the name of Coastal Terror as it tries to evoke the feeling of ruthless raiding and pillaging in the Mortal Realms of Age of Sigmar. It has a certain viking and/or pirate theme as a whole, but of course players can (and should) use their imagination to twist it more to what they prefer themselves.

I used some old Warhammer Fantasy raiding rules as a foundation from which I built up to create scenarios and rules suitable for Age of Sigmar while trying to maintain the feeling of looting, pillaging and hatred throughout the campaign.
There are four battles with each linked to the next by a story and some victory bonuses, everything leading up to the final battle where the overall victor is decided. For each battle I created a custom Battleplan to better represent the events that take place during a series of ruthless raids on hostile territory.

The example story features a host of Slaves to Darkness raiding the coast of a Free Peoples kingdom represented by Bretonnia. I know it is a bit boring that I use mostly "human" factions in my campaign stories but I feel it helps me maintain a certain neutrality in the rules and scenarios I write, so that any army can fill either of the campaign roles. And of course, most of my armies are human-based so the models are easily on hand.

I promise to use some more interesting example factions in my future campaigns.

There is something special included in the campaign PDF: loot markers, flame markers and even a longboat for you to print out and use. The markers help you keep track of things in the scenarios and the longboat can be used to add some character to your battlefield!

Without any further talk I give you the holy link to the sacred campaign file:

Coastal Terror.pdf

And remember, imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality. Have fun and leave some feedback!

torstai 5. toukokuuta 2016

Come and Grab a Campaign!

Good morning, everyone!

After spending the early hours of this day adjusting the look and feel of ExtraBushyBeards, I then decided to give you my latest creation as well: a story-driven campaign!

Before going into it in more detail I'd like to introduce the changes I made in the blog.

- The name of the blog got shortened. As my posts have started to tell not only of my duardin but also of my five other armies I decided to cut the "My Dwarf Collection!" -part out of the header. This way it's not as racist as it used to be.
- There is a warm welcome under the header for the weary travelers of the internet as they enter my gloomy stronghold.
- ExtraBushyBeards can be followed with more media now! As previously you could only order a notification to be sent to your email when a new post went up, you can now follow my blog by other means, too. These can be found in the side bar, under email subscription.
- My posts are now categorised! My stronghold got divided into four sections, so that the readers might better pick and choose what kind of posts they want to view and explore.
      - Main Hall: all the posts in the blog in chronological order, newest on top.
      - Tavern: tips & tricks, tutorials, reviews, rumours and free downloadable content.
      - War Room: battle reports & campaigns
      - Workshop: painting & modelling, terrain, conversions, etc.

I hope you enjoy the updates I made, they are supposed to make your life easier, after all!

Now on to the campaign.
During the past week I've been working on a narrative campaign that I plan to play with my brother, with him using my Slaves to Darkness against my own Freeguilders. Yes, both of the armies are mine, but we'll probably add some allied forces to the game as the conflict escalates to make it more interesting and epic.

The campaign consists of six linked battles, with each one affecting the next, until the war culminates in a great clash in Battle 5 where the victor of the campaign is determined. Then why did I say six linked battles? Because the defeated player will be given one more chance to fight the whole war into a draw in Battle 6, just to add a little more excitement to the end of the campaign!

Although this campaign features Slaves to Darkness and Freeguilders, the whole thing is designed so that you can play it with any armies you want! Just ignore the narrative parts that mention these two represented armies and use your own factions instead.

All you need is a few of the "original" Age of Sigmar Battleplans (found in Age if Sigmar: Battle Pack), and this PDF and you're good to go! 
Feel free to use different Battleplans for each battle than the ones in the campaign if you think your choice would be better or you don't have access to the Battleplans. Everything works as long as you and your opponent have a good time. The nature of each battle is explained in the campaign so you may as well invent your own scenarios for each fight!

I will play through this campaign myself in a few weeks, and I will document its progress in the War Room by posting a Narrative Battle Report of each battle. Now let us quit the chatter and publish the campaign:

The Siege of New Talabheim.pdf


sunnuntai 1. toukokuuta 2016

April Community Painting Project

Greetings everyone!

About a month ago I joined the very first monthly Community Painting Project held at /r/ageofsigmar. Every participating person had one month to paint a single model with the monster keyword in its Warscroll, and today is the day everyone submits their (hopefully) finished entries!

I joined the project with my girlfriend's Sisters of Twilight on Forest Dragon which is a model that's been sitting on my desk for too long. I did not quite finish the whole model, but I got pretty far with the dragon itself.

I want to send my thanks to the awesome community of /r/ageofsigmar that helped me get this model started and almost finished!

Here are some pics on the model:

The dragon without its riders. The colours and painting techniques were chosen by my girlfriend, I was only the one who carried out her orders. She wanted to have it represent the "mystical fantasy forest" -theme that bounds together her whole Wood Elves army, so dark green and turquoise are the dominating colours.
She still wants me to add some blood on the dragon's claws and teeth, but I'll add those kinds of special effects a little later.

And here are the wings. She had this peculiar vision of the dragon's wings being like "a flash of silver in a dark forest", so after much debate and testing I gave her the shiny metallic wings she asked for.
At first I was a little pessimistic about the end result but I think they turned out okay. They contrast quite prettily with the dark skin and turquoise scales.

Once again, thanks to the community for getting me start on this model! Before the Painting Project this was a white heap of metal in the periphery of my desk, but now it starts to look like the model it is supposed to be!
Now all I need to do is finish up on the Sisters and put them in place on the back of the dragon.

Oh, one more thing. As you can see there's some green around every gristle on the wings. Don't mind that too much, as the effect is not yet finished, but I'd like to have some help from you in this.
She wants some kind of effect on the wings that makes the dark gristles look slightly less awkward. I tried thinning down a green paint and applying it around each one (as the pic shows) and now I'll pick up the silver colour again, trying to "carve" the green splashes into some curvy lines resembling the patterns on a butterfly's wings.

The idea is to blend the transition between the dark green and the silver a little smoother, while adding some detail on the otherwise blank wings. 

Every tip, comment and notion will be most helpful!