Thursday, January 21, 2016

Warmaster Fantasy - Empire Counter Set Revised

This set of Empire counters replaces the set that I did over a decade ago while I was active on the Warmaster Yahoo email list. Unlike the old set, which was slightly undersized, this set will print to the full 20mm x 40mm counters.

"The Empire is by far the largest and most powerful of the human nations of the Old World. It stretches from the Grey Mountains in the west to the Worlds Edge Mountains and the borders of Kislev in the east. This vast nation is divided into many separate principalities or states each of which is something akin to an entire and independent land in its own right. Throughout much of the history of The Empire these states have fought amongst themselves. Rival dynasties have vied for power, alliances have been made and broken, and only rarely has a single claimant risen to control the entire land. The Empire of today is almost wholly united under the Prince of Altdorf the Elector of the Reikland--hereditary ruler of the western principality of the Reikland. Only the great sea-port of Marienburg in the Wasteland retains independence under the leadership of its powerful and wealthy mercantile community." -- the Warmaster Rulebook


Printing the Counters
I hope some of you find these counter sets useful.You can print these at office printing places, like Staples, using heavy card stock paper printed at actual size. You can also print on regular paper and then glue the counters to wooden bases. (Check the older posts on how I did this with my Empire army.) Currently, I'm printing the counter sets at Staples using regular paper, spray gluing the back of each sheet with Super77, attaching each sheet to an old comic book backing board, and then cutting out the counters using a sharp Xacto knife with steel ruler. Using the backing boards makes for cheap, sturdy counters.


Click on the counter set image above to download the complete army counter set in PDF format. The set has enough counters to create the sample armies below and many armies of 2000 points or less. Of course, if you need more counters simply print more copies!

Empire Army Lists

Total Points: 1000 (BP 5)
1x General
2x Heroes
1x Wizard (Ring of Magic)
5x Halberdiers
2x Crossbowmen
2x Knights
1x Cannon

Total Points: 1000 (BP 5)
1x General
1x Hero (Sword of Fate)
1x Wizard (Scroll of Dispelling)
2x Halberdiers
2x Crossbowmen
4x Knights
1x Cannon

Total Points: 1485 (BP 9)
1x General
1x Hero
1x Wizard (Scroll of Dispelling)
5x Halberdiers
5x Crossbowmen
4x Knights
2x Pistoliers
1x Cannon

Total Points: 1965 (BP 12)
1x General
3x Hero
1x Wizard
6x Halberdiers
1x Handgunners
2x Handgunners + Skirmishers
4x Crossbowmen
2x Flagellants
2x Knights
2x Pistoliers
2x Helblaster
2x Cannon

Total Points: 1805 (BP 10)
1x General (Orb of Majesty)
1x Hero on Griffon (Sword of Destruction)
1x Wizard
4x Halberdiers
4x Crossbowmen
1x Flagellants
3x Knights
3x Pistoliers
1x Helblaster
2x Cannon
1x Steam Tank

Total Points: 1975 (BP 10)
1x General
2x Hero
2x Wizard (1x Scroll of Dispelling)
4x Halberdiers w/ 4x Skirmishers
2x Handgunners w/ 2x Skirmishers
4x Crossbowmen
2x Flagellants
2x Knights
2x Pistoliers
1x Helblaster
2x Cannon
1x Steam Tank

Empire Tactics
Players seem to create Empire armies that are either infantry-heavy, shooting-heavy, or cavalry-heavy depending on the tactics they prefer, which makes the Empire a versatile army compared to some others in Warmaster. A common unit tends to be the cannon, whose long-range shooting will suck armies such as Orcs, Undead, and Chaos into attacking your army. Protects your artillery with one or two units of crossbowmen to discourage flying units like eagles, harpies, and carrion. If you have two or more units of artillery, break them into multiple units. There is nothing worse then watching your cannons and helblaster all go down at the same time.

Use your infantry to take and hold woods, hills, villages, and any chokepoints. Use your cavalry units as a counterattack force. If your army is cavalry-heavy, then these units will do all the killing, along with the artillery, while your infantry stays out of the way. Create at two brigades of cavalry if possible in larger games to attack in waves. Remember, cavalry are the tactical nukes of fantasy gaming, hitting far harder than their real world counterparts, which mostly hunted down enemy units once an army was beginning to rout. (This is why cavalry in Warmaster Ancients is mounted along the width of the base, reducing its punch.)

The helblaster and steam cannon get little love due to their poor performance versus cost. The griffon and war alter tend to be in the same boat. It's a shame because these are some of the coolest units in the Empire army! Oh well, such is the world of Warmaster.

Special Unit Rules
I've included a couple special units in this counter set. Officially, the Elite Halberdiers are to be treated as regular halberdiers, but some house rules were printed giving the units a +1 attack and limiting them to 1 unit per 1000 points.

For rules covering the Greatswords units, download this old PDF article from Fanatic Online magazine.

The Mortar unit follows the same rules as the Bombard, which can be downloaded as a PDF in this reprinted article from Warmaster Magazine #1. You'll also want the rules clarifications from Warmuster #2, which you can download from the Warmuster website.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Making Awesome Paper Counters The Simple Way

Why go to Mordor when one can make paper counters?
A couple years ago, I wrote an article here at the blog titled "Making Warmaster Counters--The Hard Way." In the article, I chronicled the steps I took to create mounted counters using my old Empire set. Basically, I printed the sheets, cut out the individual counters, and then individually glued each counter to a Litko-like base using an Uhu glue pen. The end result is quite nice and sturdy, just like a miniature game base, but also expensive. Since used up a box of old bases at the time, I really didn't care. Then I ran out of bases. Wanting desperately to play some Warmaster games using my newer counter sets, I looked for a cheaper and easier method. This is what I created.

For this project, I used my current Dwarf set. I happen to like Dwarfs; plus the set is small compared to something like the Orcs and Goblins set, which will be the Dwarfs enemy for my upcoming game. It took me about an hour to gather the supplies and cut out all the counters.

Supplies Needed:
  • Sharp hobby knife
  • Metal straight edge
  • Cutting mat
  • Comic book backing boards
  • Christmas wrapping paper
  • 3M Super77 Multi-purpose Adhesive

Super-Simple Instructions Over-Explained

1. Print the counters on a nice laser printer, preferably at work for free. ;-)

2. Get a couple comic book "backing boards." These are the stiff boards, usually glossy on one side, that comic collectors use to protect comic books that are stored in comic book bags. Since we collect comic books, we literally have a box of old, discarded backing boards from comics we placed in better bags and boards. I had several "Golden Age" boards, which are larger ( 7.5" x 10.5") and fit an entire counter sheet with just a bit of trimming. "Silver Age" boards (7" x 10.5") and "Current" boards (6.75" x 10.5") also work but an entire sheet won't fit in one go. No need to buy an entire pack of boards. Ask at your local comic shop if they have any scrap backing boards they plan on tossing. I bet they do. Or simple order a pack of BCW Golden Age boards at Amazon for $11.


3. Get some cheap wrapping paper. If your family is anything like mine, throwing away left over partial-rolls of Christmas wrapping paper is against the law, or at least immoral. We always seem to have piles of the rolls cluttering the closet, which drives me batty. But I digress... For this project, I use the scrap wrapping paper to protect my work area from the later steps. Use the white side up. Newspaper would probably work also, but getting rid of all that Santa Kitty and Star Wars wrapping paper is a bonus in my book. (I mean, we usually only pay $1-$2 a roll. It's not like we're saving the scrap rolls as an investment! BTW we actually have a roll of that kitty wrap in the photo! I think we buy it every single year! Sigh.)

4. Get a can of 3M Super77 Multi-purpose Adhesive. This is the best spray glue out there, or so I've been told. I've been using it for decades. It isn't cheap, so use a 40% off coupon for Michaels or Hobby Lobby.

5. Trim the counter sheets to fit the comic backing boards.

6. Cut a large piece of the wrapping paper and place it white-side up to protect your table space. Replace it every time you do Step 7 and 8 for a new sheet. Trust me on this one.:-)

7. Place the counter sheet in the center of the wrapping paper, the counter sheet's print-side facing down.

8. Follow Super77's instructions and spray the entire back side of the counter sheet. Watch out for overspray because it feels like this stuff can go everywhere once it hits the air!


9. Carefully place the glue-side of the counter sheet onto the backing board and smooth it out. The glue dries quickly and will be permanent.

10. Cut out the counters with a sharp hobby knife and metal straight edge.

11. Get ready for war!

 
I've glued the second sheet onto the comic board and have begun cutting out the other counters. The comic boards add a nice stiffness and thickness to the counters, just like (gasp!) board game counters.


My can of Super77 is 10 years old and still works like new! Current cans have a red label. You can see I cut the sheet into strips. I've also cut some counters for units. You can see how I've always intended units to look on the table compared to on the sheet. Some units even have command stands to use when brigaded with other units.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Belated Lego Christmas From Sunny Florida

I've been wanting to post this photo for a while, but life has been a bit crazy around here. My son and I created this scene of an imaginary North Pole this past Christmas, and finished it just in time for Christmas Eve. My fingers were just a wee sore from snapping all the bricks together! I'm sure not many people realize that while Santa is away delivering gifts to all the boys and girls of the world, Mrs. Claus likes to take a spin in her yellow McLaren P1. (My son insisted on including this tidbit in the scene.) Out of shot is a Lambda shuttle as the star on top of the tree, and just behind Santa's house lurks a Florida alligator, ready for some Christmas cookies. Yeah, that's how we roll down here in the Sunshine State. I hope everyone had a nice holiday.


Monday, December 28, 2015

Warmaster Fantasy - Dwarfs Counter Set Revised

This set of Dwarf counters replaces the set that I did over a decade ago while I was active on the Warmaster Yahoo email list. Unlike the old set, which was slightly undersized, this set will print to the full 20mm x 40mm counters.

Since I bought my first fantasy miniature in 1981, I have been a dwarf fanatic. Back in the early 1980s, I literally owned every Citadel pre-slotta base dwarf. They were my favorite Dwarf figures back when I was playing RPGs. I also enjoy the "Classic" line of Warhammer Dwarfs over the more modern Dwarfs. This set use images of those "classic" miniatures over the more modern versions. Also, you might notice a few versions of the cannon, flame cannon, and gyrocopter counters. Use those facing the direction you prefer. I've also included some Hammerers, which are used as ordinary Warriors.


Printing the Counters
I hope some of you find these counter sets useful.You can print these at office printing places, like Staples, using heavy card stock paper printed at actual size. You can also print on regular paper and then glue the counters to wooden bases. (Check the older posts on how I did this with my Empire army.) Currently, I'm printing the counter sets at Staples using regular paper, spray gluing the back of each sheet with Super77, attaching each sheet to an old comic book backing board, and then cutting out the counters using a sharp Xacto knife with steel ruler. Using the backing boards makes for cheap, sturdy counters.


Click on the counter set image above to download the complete army counter set in PDF format. The set has enough counters to create the sample armies below and many armies of 2000 points or less. Of course, if you need more counters simply print more copies!

Dwarf Army Lists

Total Points: 990
1x General
1x Runesmith
2x Warriors
2x Rangers
1x Handgunners
1x Cannon
1x Flame Cannon
1x Gyrocopter

Total Points: 1,995
1x General
2x Heros
1x Runesmith
4x Warriors
2x Rangers
2x Handgunners
4x Troll Slayers
2x Cannons
2x Flame Cannons
2x Gyrocopters

Total Points: 2,000
1x General
2x Hero
1x Runesmith
6x Warriors
4x Handgunners
2x Rangers
2x Cannons
2x Flame Cannons
1x Gyrocopter

Dwarf Tactics
Warmaster Magazine #6 had a nice article reviewing the usefulness of every dwarf unit. It had been reprinted at the old Specialist Games website. Since I can't find it online at the moment, you can download it from me by clicking this link.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Warmaster Ancients - Britons & Celts Counter Set

This set is based on the Britons' army list in the Warmaster Ancients core rule book. It can work for anything during the 1st centuries BC and AD, including the Caesarian and Claudian invasions. It can also work for Irish and Caledonian armies. While all the units from the army list are present in barbaric horde quantities, I've also taken the liberty of adding some "bonus" units: Noblemen with more armor that can be used a variety of basic Warriors or treat them as Medium Infantry with Armour 6+ for 45 points. If you would like a little "magic" in your armies, there is a Shaman counter, if you want to add such a person. I've also added a number of "named" Generals if you would like to create a specific army; these images are generals from Foundry and Warlord 28mm miniatures. Of course, you could also use the counters for other games, such as DBA or Impetus. I enjoyed creating this set and hope you enjoy it.

Printing the Counters
I hope some of you find these counter sets useful.You can print these at office printing places, like Staples, using heavy card stock paper printed at actual size. You can also print on regular paper and then glue the counters to wooden bases. (Check the older posts on how I did this with my Empire army.) Currently, I'm printing the counter sets at Staples using regular paper, spray gluing the back of each sheet with Super77, attaching each sheet to an old comic book backing board, and then cutting out the counters using a sharp Xacto knife with steel ruler. Using the backing boards makes for cheap, sturdy counters.



Click on the counter set image above to download the complete
Britons-Celts counter set in PDF format.